Pope Francis said so “He is in good healthand that he will continue as long as he can as bishop of Rome despite a wave of criticism from some high-ranking cardinals and bishops, and he clarified that it has not even occurred to him to introduce norms to regulate future papal resignations.
In an interview with AP News Agencythe first since the death of Benedict XVI, Francis also spoke of the next phase of his pontificate, which turns 10 in March, and which no longer has the shadow of the pope emeritus in the background.
“I am healthy. For my age, I’m normalsaid Francisco, 86. However, he indicated that the diverticulosis, sacs that form in the wall of the intestines, had “returned.” In 2021, Francis had 10 inches (33 centimeters) of his large intestine removed, which the Vatican described as inflation caused by a narrowing of the colon.
He added that a small knee fracture from a fall had healed without surgery, following treatment with laser and magnetic therapy. “I could die tomorrow, but come on, it’s controlled. I’m in good health, “she said with her usual irony.
Speculation about Francis’ health and the future of his pontificate has only grown since the death of Benedict, whose resignation in 2013 marked a turning point for the Catholic Church, the first pontiff to resign in six centuries.
Some experts believe so Francis may find himself more free to maneuver now that Benedict is gone, who spent the 10 years of his retirement in the Vatican. Others suggest that any kind of ecclesiastical peace is over and that Francis is now more open to criticism, stripped of the moderating influence Benedict has played in keeping more conservative Catholics at bay.
The pope acknowledged that there were conflicting views, but he seemed almost optimistic about it.
“I wouldn’t associate it with Benedict, but with the usury of the ten-year government,” he said of his pontificate. His election was initially met with “surprise” by the appointment of a South American pope, he said. Then came the discomfort “when they start to see the flaws I have, (…) they don’t like it,” he said.
“I All I ask is that they do it to my face.Because that’s how we all grow up, right?” He added of the criticisms. Francisco, in parallel, praised Benedict’s “lordship,” and said that, with his death, he lost “a dad.”
“For me it was safety in the face of a doubt, asking for the car and going to the monastery and asking questions,” she said of her visits to the Benedict retirement home for advice. “I’ve lost a good partner,” she completed.
Potato retreats and their future
Some cardinals and canonists have said the Vatican should do it regulate future potato withdrawals to avoid any snags during Benedict’s unexpectedly long retirement, in which the pope emeritus has remained a point of reference for some conservatives and traditionalists who have refused to recognize Francis’ legitimacy.
From the name chosen by Benedict, pope emeritus, to the white clothes he wore in his sporadic public appearances, in which he spoke of priestly celibacy and sexual abuse, these experts said the regulations should imply that there is only one reigning pope, for the good of the unity of the Church.
Francis said so I hadn’t even thought about those rules. “He It didn’t occur to me. I tell you the truth,” she commented, adding that the Vatican needs more experience with retired popes to “regulate more or regulate more.”
In this sense, he recognized it Benedict “opened the door” to future resignations and that he would even consider them. On Tuesday he reiterated that in the event of his resignation he will hold the position of bishop emeritus of Rome and will live in the residence for retired priests of the diocese of Rome.
The pope described Benedict’s decision to settle in a converted monastery in the Vatican Gardens as “a good compromise” but that perhaps other popes in the future may want to do things differently.
“He was still a slave, without quotation marks, to a pope, right?” Francis said. “From the vision of a pope, of a system. Slave in the good sense of the word. In which he was not entirely free, because perhaps he would have wanted to return to his native Germany and from there continue to study theology,” he added.
Benedict’s death probably removes the main obstacle to Francis’ resignation, given that the prospect of having two popes retire has never been an option. But Francisco said the death of his predecessor didn’t change his plans. “It didn’t even occur to me to make a will about myself, he commented.
In the short term, Francis emphasized his role as bishop of Rome as opposed to the figure of the pope and said his plans were to continue being a bishop, bishop of Rome and in communion with all the bishops of the world.” he wanted to eliminate the concept of the papacy as a court.
The pope also faced criticism from cardinals and bishops he met in the weeks following Benedict’s death, something he defined as uncomfortable, such as hives, which are a bit annoying, but he prefers to keep quiet.
“It is preferred that there is not (criticism). For peace of mind, go,” she said. But I prefer them to do it, because that means there is freedom of speech.
If this is not the case, a dictatorship of distance is generated, which I call, where there is the emperor and nobody can tell him anything. No, let me tell you, because the company, the criticisms help to grow and things go well, he added.
The first spear in the barrage of attacks came from Benedict’s longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, who laid bare the resentment built up over the past 10 years in a revealing memoir published in the first days after Benedict’s funeral. .
In one of the most controversial parts, Gaenswein revealed that Benedict learned from the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that Francis had reversed one of the pope emeritus’ most important liturgical decisions and reinstated restrictions on celebrating the Latin Mass.
Within days of the publication of the memoirs, the Vatican was once again rocked by the death of another conservative leader, Cardinal George Pell, and by revelations that Pell had written a devastating memo that had circulated last year and described the Francis’ pontificate as “a disaster” and “a catastrophe”.
The text, initially circulated under the pseudonym Demos, listed all of the Vatican’s problems under Francis, from its precarious finances to the pontiff’s preaching style, and included a list of what a future pope might do to solve them.
Francis acknowledged Pell’s criticisms, but still praised him for being his right-hand man in Vatican finance reform and its first finance minister.
“They say that in the end he criticized me. Well, he has the right, criticism is a human right,” commented Francisco. “A good guy. Great”.
Pope Francis: “Homosexuality is not a crime”
Pope francesco he has criticized laws criminalizing homosexuality as “unfair,” he said God loves all his children just as they are, and called on Catholic bishops who support those laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the Church.
“Being gay is not a crime,” Francisco said during an interview with the AP on Tuesday. Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, calling homosexuality a “sin.”
However, he attributed these attitudes to cultural contexts and said so bishops in particular also have to go through a process of change recognize the dignity of all. “Even the bishop has a conversion process,” he said, adding that they should show “tenderness, please, tenderness, as God has with each of us.”
Francis cited the catechism of the Catholic Church to underline this homosexuals should be welcomed and respected, and should not be marginalized or discriminated against. “We are all children of God and God loves us as we are and with the strength that each of us fights for our dignity,” he said.
He also stated that in relation to homosexuality, a distinction should be made between crime and sin. “Being homosexual is not a crime,” she said. “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a pity. Well, first let’s distinguish sin from crime. But the lack of charity towards one’s neighbor is also a sin.
Francis has come under fire from the LGBTQ Catholic community over a 2021 decree from the Vatican’s office of doctrine that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions because God cannot bless sin.
With information from AP.