Pope Francis in wheelchair

Pope talks about possible retirement plans


Having recently denied he has plans to retire, Pope Francis discussed in a TV interview what he would like to do should he abdicate.

Pope Francis on Tuesday discussed what he might do if he were to abdicate, as his predecessor Benedict XVI did.

In an interview with Mexican-American TV channel TelevisaUnivision, Francis said he would devote his time to confessing the faithful, practising charity and visiting the sick in an Italian parish.

“If I survive after my resignation I’d like to do something like that: confess people and go and see the sick,” he said.

The pontiff recently said it was OK for popes to quit if they were no longer up to the job. This sparked speculation surrounding his health amid knee problems that have forced him to use a wheelchair. Francis also voiced “great sympathy” for the choice of Benedict who resigned in February 2013 citing ill health and failing strength, and who lives a life of prayer, study and writing at the age of 95.

If and when he ever retires, Francis said he would not return to his native Argentina nor stay in the Vatican. Instead, he would try to find a Rome church to work in, and be known as “emeritus bishop of Rome”. Benedict is known as “pope emeritus”.

Francis, 85, recently denied to Reuters that he has cancer or that he plans to quit any time soon.

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