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My Reign May Be Brief, Pope says



pope-francis1Pope Francis has marked the second anniversary of his election by giving a hint that his time at the Vatican may be short, and that he would be ready to resign rather than ruling the Catholic Church for life.
The revelation came in a lengthy interview he had with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa, released on the second anniversary of his election.“I have a feeling my pontificate will be brief,” he said.

He added, “Four or five years, I don’t know. Two years have already gone by.

“It is a vague feeling I have that the Lord chose me for a short mission. I am always open to that possibility.”

The first pope from Latin America has hinted in the past that he could retire, emulating his predecessor Benedict XVI, who became the first pope to resign in seven centuries when he stepped down in February 2013, saying that his decision “is courageous.”

“I share the idea of what Benedict did,” Pope Francis said. In 2013, former Pope Benedict became the first head of the Roman Catholic Church in 600 years to resign instead of ruling until he died.
“In general, I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the pope emeritus. Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution,” Francis said.

The Pope also said he was opposed to the idea of an age limit for leaders of the Catholic Church.

“To say that one is in charge up to 80 years, creates a sensation that the pontificate is at its end and that would not be a good thing,” he added.

A papal conclave elected Pope Francis as Benedict XVI’s successor on 13 March 2013. During the interview, he admitted he was “surprised” by the decision and had only carried a small suitcase to Rome, with the expectation he would return to Buenos Aires.

In the 17-page interview transcript, Francis also said the fact he is the first pope from Latin America compelled him to speak out on behalf of migrants and the poor because his ancestors had to move from Italy to Argentina to find work.

“People are being discarded and forced to seek employment elsewhere,” said Francis, whose first trip after his election was to the Italian island of Lampedusa to pay tribute to thousands of migrants who have died trying to reach Europe.”

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