Pope Francis’ recent health struggles, worsening mobility issues and canceled events have fueled rumors that the head of the Catholic Church is about to follow his predecessor into early retirement.
Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected to the papacy in March 2013, after Pope Benedict XVI stepped down at age 85, becoming the first pontiff to do so since Gregory XII in 1415.
Now, some Vatican observers believe that the 85-year-old Francis could become the second — although the pope’s adviser has brushed off the chatter. . .
[H]is health has been in apparent decline, and for the past month Francis has been getting around in a wheelchair, or with the aid of a cane, because of knee pain.
The octogenarian prelate reportedly does not want to undergo surgery on his knee — and was quoted as telling bishops in May: “Rather than operate, I’ll resign.” (Read more from “Pope Francis Resigning? Declining Health, Canceled Africa Trip Fuel Rumors” HERE)
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