I signed my resignation letter in case of health failure — Pope Francis

In an interview on Sunday, Pope Francis disclosed for the first time that he had submitted a letter of resignation nearly ten years prior in the event that ill health prevented him from performing his duties.

Francis, who turned 86 on Saturday, has already stated that if health issues prevent him from performing his duties, he will resign as pope.

The pontiff claimed in the Spanish daily ABC that he had signed his letter of resignation and given it to the secretary of state for the Vatican, Tarcisio Bertone, before the cardinal’s retirement in 2013.

“I signed the resignation and I told him, ‘In case of medical impediment or whatever, here’s my resignation. You have it’,” the pope said.

He continued by saying he had no idea what Bertone had done with the letter after that.

Francis’s ability to walk has been restricted by an incurable knee disease, which has made him dependent on a wheelchair in recent months.

In an interview in July, the pope confessed that he needed to slow down after having to postpone or cut short events several times during the previous year due to discomfort.

 

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