‘I am the Bishop of Rome. In that case I would be the bishop emeritus of Rome,’ he said, adding that he could stay at St. John Lateran.
“I have no intention of resigning, not for the moment.”
Pope Francis gave that assurance in a wide-ranging interview granted to Mexican journalists Maria Antonieta Collins and Valentina Alazraki with Televisa Univision’s ViX streaming service.
In an excerpt of the interview posted on Univision Noticias’ YouTube channel, the Pope talks about his health and rumors circulating in recent weeks that he would renounce the Petrine ministry.
“At the moment, I don’t feel that the Lord is asking me,” said Pope Francis. “If I felt He was asking me, then yes.”
He then called it a “coincidence” that he will go to the Italian city of L’Aquila, where Pope Celestine V is buried, during the next Consistory of Cardinals in late August…
… Responding to a question about the possibility of setting out rules regarding the figure of a Pope Emeritus, Pope Francis noted that “history itself will help to regulate better.”
“The first experience went very well,” he said, because Benedict XVI “is a holy and discreet man.”
For the future, however, he added, “it would be better to define things or explain them better.”
Talking about his own possible resignation, Pope Francis replied that he would not return to Argentina.
“I am the Bishop of Rome. In that case I would be the bishop emeritus of Rome,” he said, adding that he could stay at St. John Lateran.
The Pope recalled that, ahead of the Conclave, he had already prepared his retirement as Archbishop Emeritus of Buenos Aires. He said it would have been important for him to “hear confessions and visit the sick.”
This would have been his “apostolate”, his “work,” he said.
“To be at the service of the people where you can,” he said, “this is what I was thinking about in Buenos Aires.” He added that he would enjoy doing the same now if he were to ever resign the papacy.