Pope Francis announced that he is not resigning
In an interview, Pope Francis talked about how, despite his health problems, he never considered resigning and leaves his departure to the will of God.
Pope Francis emphasized that he keeps in mind the decision of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned from the papacy and lived as Pope Emeritus until his death, but he asks the Lord to say when enough is enough at God’s will. The Pope referred to Benedict XVI’s resignation from the papal office in February 2013 due to physical weakness. Benedict XVI was the second Pope in the history of the Church to resign. The German Pope retired to a Vatican monastery, where he passed away on December 31 last year.
“Benedict XVI was a great man, a humble man, who, when faced with his own limitations, had the courage to say that it was enough. I consider him a role model,” said Pope Francis. The 86-year-old Pope emphasized that as one ages, one must start preparing.
Pope Francis added that he has already given instructions regarding his funeral. Unlike most of his predecessors, he wants to be buried not in St. Peter’s Basilica but in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Argentine Pope has a close connection to the second largest basilica in Rome, which houses the icon of the Virgin Mary, the protector of the city. Pope Francis usually prays at this holy image before and after his travels.
So far, five Popes have been buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: Pius V, Sixtus V, Clement XIII, Paul V, and Clement IX.
Pope Francis also revealed that he is working on simplifying the papal funeral rites. “My funeral will be the dress rehearsal for the new ceremony,” he declared.
The interview was conducted by journalist Valentina Alazraki, who wrote on her social media that the conversation was held in honor of the December 12 feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, particularly revered in Spanish-speaking South American countries.
Pope Francis confirmed that he has received an invitation from Javier Milei, the new President of Argentina. The Pope interpreted Milei’s previous statements as being made in the heat of the election campaign. As a presidential candidate, Javier Milei, among other things, called the Argentine-born Pope a murderous communist and an accomplice of the devil.
Pope Francis said he plans to travel abroad in 2024, visiting Belgium, and is considering trips to Argentina and Polynesia.
In the interview, Pope Francis also addressed the issue of migration affecting the American continent. He emphasized that accepting and integrating migrants is a human and Christian law. He reminded that he himself descends from Italian immigrants to Argentina. “Jesus was also a migrant,” said Pope Francis.
He lamented that the events of the war in Ukraine have become “as routine as morning coffee,” while people, including many young people, are dying. He reiterated that war is always a defeat, with the only winners being the arms manufacturers.
He mentioned that he is in constant contact with the Catholic parish in Gaza, where six hundred people have found refuge. Pope Francis commented on the mothers who receive letters in wars informing them that their sons were heroes but have died. “These mothers are the heroines, whose sons are snatched away by war,” he stated, recalling how tens of thousands of young people lost their lives in both World Wars, such as during the Normandy landings. He noted that history hasn’t changed much.