Looking for signs or adhering to facts? The Pope’s fragile health forced him to postpone his trip to Africa, leading to speculation about a possible resignation, a cyclical theory fueled by the cult of secrecy in the Vatican but should be considered with caution.
Scheduled for early July, Francis’ visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan has been postponed indefinitely, and many are puzzled by the images of the Sovereign Pope blaming his face during some of the exhibitions: Can he honor his visit to Canada scheduled for the end of July? It will be held “until further notice,” the Vatican said.
Since the beginning of May, the Argentine Jesuit, 85, has been confined to a wheelchair or cane with severe pain in his right knee. To relieve his knee pain, he receives regular infusions and undergoes physiotherapy sessions, which, according to the Vatican, increase his discretion about his health.
The treatment “follows its course and bears fruit”, the Vatican assures the source. However, these rare changes to the Holy Oil’s well-oiled machinery, however, have rekindled concerns about George Bergoglio’s ability to govern and re-ignite rumors of his resignation.
This theory was observed by the Italian Vaticanist Marco Politi, author of the book “Francis, the Plague and Reincarnation”. “These rumors were fueled by the Pope’s opponents. They were eager to see Francis go.”
In 2014, Francis himself fueled this hypothesis, believing that Benedict XVI had “opened the door” by leaving his office.
Other voices call for restraint, as there is a possibility of an imminent exit. “In the pope’s entourage, the majority does not believe in the possibility of resignation,” a Vatican source told AFP.
“Many years may have passed since you began to say that the Pope was very ill: John Paul II’s illness began in 1993 and ended in 2005,” recalled Alberto Mello, a Christian historian and secretary of the Theological Foundation.
“There is a desire to speculate, to understand these, but very little to say,” he lamented of the “media frenzy around the pope and the church.”
Franకోois Health – once a young man who had had part of his lungs removed and suffered from chronic sciatica – fueled speculation in July 2021 during his colon surgery. Echo, not new.
“With Benedict XVI, the weakness of the age progressed and gradually led to his resignation,” said Pope Emeritus, now 95, who lives in a monastery in the Vatican. .
In September 2021, Franకోois – who continues to receive many politicians or religious leaders every morning – joked to himself about these rumors. I’re still alive, but for some I want to die, “he joked.
But this spring, three events have fueled questions, one of which is to hold a stabilization on August 27 to create twenty new cardinals – a very extraordinary time for this event, including future voters in the context of the Conclave.
In the process, the pope brings together cardinals from around the world in Rome and goes to the tomb of Celeste V, the first pope to resign in the 13th century, to L’Aquila (Abruzzo). This unprecedented combination surprised the Italian and international press, some of whom saw the Pope as an opportunity to announce his decision to the world.
But “at this stage, it’s realistic and not an alarmist,” Marco restrained politics. According to him, this meeting may also be the usual moment of general discussion on the Vatican government, Curia’s reform, which was registered by the enactment of the new “constitution” in early June.
Another major issue for Francis is that the World Synod of Bishops, with extensive consultations on the Church’s organization, will conclude in 2023. The event was “almost a small council: so it seems hard to imagine the Pope literally wanting to leave. This is a great institution that he has decided for himself, ”explains Mr. Politi, who also stressed the difficulty of having three popes in the Vatican.