Is Pope Francis retiring? A look at his health troubles
- There are rumours of Pope Francis retiring
- He's had some health setbacks since having the left part of his colon surgically removed
- Most Bishops in Rome choose to die while holding office, rather than vacate
Rumours of Pope Francis retiring have begun swirling since reports of his failing health, worsening movement, and recently cancelled events began to surface, the New York Post reported.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Francis became the pope in 2013, when his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, stepped down at the age of 85. This marked the first time that someone had vacated the position since Gregory XII stepped down in 1415.
Now, the 85-year-old Francis could be the second, but his advisor has brushed aside any such occurrence. Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga said that the recent buzz about Francis stepping down was a "cheap soap opera", as per Religious News Service.
The custom for a vast majority of Bishops in Rome has been to die while holding office, rather than vacate. However, a series of recent health troubles have kept the rumour mills turning.
A look at Pope Francis' health problems
The Argentine pope underwent a three-hour surgery last July, during which the left part of his colon was removed since his bowel had narrowed.
His health has gone downhill since then, with the Pope either relying on a cane or wheelchair to get around in the coming months.
Despite his knee pain, Francis is unwilling to operate and told his Bishops in May that he'd rather resign than undergo surgery. Apart from that, he struggles with sciatica, which caused him to walk with a limp even before the knee troubles began.
However, he's retained a sense of humour through all this, and last month quipped "Do you know what I need for my knee?", continuing, "Some tequila", when he met some Mexican seminarians from the Legion of Christ in St Peter's Square, the Associated Press reported.
His July trip to Africa was also cancelled by the Vatican, citing health problems.
What triggered Pope Francis' retirement rumours
The Vatican has scheduled a meeting between the Pope and the cardinals in L’Aquila, in central Italy, which will be held in late August.
There, the Holy See will appoint 21 new cardinals, who can vote in a conclave if Francis decides to turn his back on the papacy.