Highlights

  • Pope Francis fuels retirement rumours
  • Mobility issues surround 85-year-old Pope
  • Elected as Pope in 2013 to bring in reforms to the Vatican bureaucracy

Latest news

WATCH| US President Joe Biden explains how abortion rights can be restored

WATCH| US President Joe Biden explains how abortion rights can be restored

Tears of rage vs joy as US Supreme Court strikes down abortion laws

Tears of rage vs joy as US Supreme Court strikes down abortion laws

Shiv Sena seeks disqualification of 4 more MLAs, to send notices on Saturday

Shiv Sena seeks disqualification of 4 more MLAs, to send notices on Saturday

 Concerned over use of sticky bombs, J&K police issues advisory

Concerned over use of sticky bombs, J&K police issues advisory

Obama: US top court abortion ruling an attack on essential freedoms

Obama: US top court abortion ruling an attack on essential freedoms

Pope Francis fuels new speculation on future of his pontificate

Italian and Catholic media have been rife with speculation that the 85-year-old Pope Francis might be planning to follow in Pope Benedict's footsteps and resign.

Pope Francis added fuel to rumors about the future of his pontificate by announcing he would visit the central Italian city of L'Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, one of the few pontiffs who resigned before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013.

Italian and Catholic media have been rife with unsourced speculation that the 85-year-old Francis might be planning to follow in Benedict's footsteps, given his increased mobility problems that have forced him to use a wheelchair for the last month.

Those rumors gained steam last week when Francis announced a consistory to create 21 new cardinals scheduled for Aug. 27. Sixteen of those cardinals are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect Francis' successor.

Once they are added to the ranks of princes of the church, Francis will have stacked the College of Cardinals with 83 of the 132 voting-age cardinals. While there is no guarantee how the cardinals might vote, the chances that they will tap a successor who shares Francis' pastoral priorities become ever greater.

In announcing the Aug. 27 consistory, Francis also announced he would host two days of talks the following week to brief the cardinals about his recent apostolic constitution reforming the Vatican bureaucracy. That document, which goes into effect Sunday, allows women to head Vatican offices, imposes term limits on priestly Vatican employees and positions the Holy See as an institution at the service of local churches, rather than vice versa.

Francis was elected pope in 2013 on a mandate to reform the Roman Curia. Now that the nine-year project has been rolled out and at least partially implemented, Francis' main task as pope has in some ways been accomplished.

All of which made Saturday's otherwise routine announcement of a pastoral visit to L'Aquila carry more speculative weight than it might otherwise have.

Notable was the timing: The Vatican and the rest of Italy are usually on holiday in August to mid-September, with all but essential business closed. Calling a major consistory in late August to create new cardinals, gathering churchmen for two days of talks on implementing his reform and making a symbolically significant pastoral visit suggests Francis might have out-of-the-ordinary business in mind.

Also Watch| Pope announces 21 officials to become cardinals, 2 from India

Up Next

Pope Francis fuels new speculation on future of his pontificate

Pope Francis fuels new speculation on future of his pontificate

WATCH| US President Joe Biden explains how abortion rights can be restored

WATCH| US President Joe Biden explains how abortion rights can be restored

Tears of rage vs joy as US Supreme Court strikes down abortion laws

Tears of rage vs joy as US Supreme Court strikes down abortion laws

Obama: US top court abortion ruling an attack on essential freedoms

Obama: US top court abortion ruling an attack on essential freedoms

WATCH | US President Joe Biden's first remarks on Supreme Court ending abortion rights

WATCH | US President Joe Biden's first remarks on Supreme Court ending abortion rights

Explained: the 'Roe vs Wade' abortion rights verdict that US Supreme Court has overturned

Explained: the 'Roe vs Wade' abortion rights verdict that US Supreme Court has overturned

More videos

US Supreme Court strikes down abortion rights

US Supreme Court strikes down abortion rights

Afghanistan earthquake: India air force plane carrying aid lands in Kabul | On camera

Afghanistan earthquake: India air force plane carrying aid lands in Kabul | On camera

Marine biologists find world's biggest bacterium in Caribbean

Marine biologists find world's biggest bacterium in Caribbean

Watch: protesters disrupt Chinese Ambassador's speech in Sydney

Watch: protesters disrupt Chinese Ambassador's speech in Sydney

Chinese electric car falls from 3rd floor of Shanghai office, 2 dead

Chinese electric car falls from 3rd floor of Shanghai office, 2 dead

Indian reestablishes diplomatic presence in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan

Indian reestablishes diplomatic presence in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan

Viral Video: Biden describes America as 'Asufutimaehaehfutbw'

Viral Video: Biden describes America as 'Asufutimaehaehfutbw'

Watch: rescuers remove 500 kgs bomb from rooftop in Kharkiv

Watch: rescuers remove 500 kgs bomb from rooftop in Kharkiv

US Supreme Court strikes down New York's recent gun control law

US Supreme Court strikes down New York's recent gun control law

Afghans forced to survive in tents after deadly earthquake destroys houses

Afghans forced to survive in tents after deadly earthquake destroys houses

Editorji Technologies Pvt. Ltd. © 2022 All Rights Reserved.