Pope says he’ll scale back or stop: “You can replace a pope.”

On Saturday, Pope Francis addressed the media while traveling from Canada.

AP ABOARD/Guglielmo Mangiapane PAPAL AIRLINE Pope Francis admitted on Saturday that his injured knee ligaments prevent him from traveling as much as he once could. He said his week-long pilgrimage to Canada was “a bit of a test” that revealed he needed to slow down and eventually retire.

The 85-year-old Francis reiterated to reporters that he hadn’t considered stepping down but said that “the door is open” and that there was nothing wrong with a pope retiring while on his way home from northern Nunavut.

“It makes no sense. It’s not an emergency. The pope can be replaced, “He declared during a 45-minute press conference while seated in an airline wheelchair.

Francis added that even though he hadn’t thought about quitting before, he now understands that he needs to at least slow down.

He stated, “I think at my age and with these restrictions, I have to save (my energy) in order to be able to serve the church, or on the other hand, think about the prospect of stepping away.

Following his first journey, during which he was forced to use a wheelchair, walker, and cane to get around, severely restricting his schedule and his capacity to interact with audiences, Francis was barraged with inquiries regarding the course of his pontificate.

He had injured the ligaments in his right knee earlier this year, and as he was still receiving laser and magnetic therapy, he had to postpone his trip to Africa, which was supposed to take place the first week of July.

The travel to Canada was challenging, and there were multiple times when Francis was visibly in pain as he struggled to get up and down from seats.

Despite spending a long day Friday driving to the edge of the Arctic to once again apologize to Indigenous peoples for the abuses they endured in Canada’s church-run residential schools, he seemed upbeat and energized at the conclusion of his six-day journey.

Francis decided against undergoing knee surgery because he felt it would not necessarily be beneficial and since “there are still remnants” of the aftereffects of the more than six hours of anesthesia he had to endure to have 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his large intestine removed in July 2021.

“Because I believe that being close to people is a method of serving, I’ll strive to keep going on the travels. But I can’t say much more than that “On Saturday, he remarked.

Francis also said the following while on the papal aircraft:

All agreed that the church-run residential school system’s attempt to obliterate Indigenous culture in Canada amounted to cultural “genocide.” Francis claimed that he didn’t use the phrase while visiting Canada because he couldn’t recall it. The forced abduction of Indigenous children from their homes and enrollment in residential schools administered by churches in an effort to assimilate them into Christian Canadians was deemed a “cultural genocide” by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015.

Although I didn’t use the phrase since it didn’t cross my mind, didn’t I just explain genocide? Francis uttered. I expressed regret and begged for pardon for this act of genocide.

suggested that he wasn’t against a change in Catholic teaching about the use of contraception. Artificial contraception is prohibited by church doctrine. Francis mentioned that the acts of a congress where a change to the church’s categorical “no” were discussed were recently published by a Vatican think tank. He emphasized that theology can change over time and that it is the responsibility of theologians to investigate these changes before the pope makes a final decision.

Francis remarked that during his pontificate, church teaching on atomic weapons was changed to consider not just the use of atomic weapons but also their mere possession to be evil, as well as the use of the death penalty in all circumstances.

He declared his intention to visit Kazakhstan in the middle of September for an interfaith gathering where he might meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has defended the conflict in Ukraine. Although no trip has been announced as of yet, Francis also stated that he intends to visit Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. He stated that he hoped to reschedule the South Sudan trip he had to cancel due to knee issues. He stated that due to the rainy season, the Congo portion of that trip would likely have to be postponed until next year.

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