Pope: I wouldn’t live in the Vatican or Argentina if I retired

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis said he would not live in the Vatican or return to his native Argentina if and when he retires, but instead would like to find a church in Rome where he can continue to hear confessions.

“I am the Bishop of Rome, in this case the Bishop Emeritus of Rome,” Francis said in an interview with Spanish television channel TelevisaUnivision that aired on Tuesday.

Francis, 85, denied intending to…

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ROME (AP) — Pope Francis said he would not live in the Vatican or return to his native Argentina if and when he retires, but instead would like to find a church in Rome where he can continue to hear confessions.

“I am the Bishop of Rome, in this case the Bishop Emeritus of Rome,” Francis said in an interview with Spanish television channel TelevisaUnivision that aired on Tuesday.

Francis, 85, denied he plans to retire anytime soon, but repeated that “the door is open” after Pope Benedict XVI in 2013 became the first pope in 600 years to step down.

While having a retired pope has gone well, the Vatican needs to better regulate the figure of a pope emeritus, Francis said in the interview.

Some cardinals and canon lawyers have long questioned Benedict XVI’s decisions in retirement, including his continuing to wear the papal white cassock and retaining his papal name, Benedict, rather than reverting to his name. by birth, Joseph Ratzinger.

They say these choices and Benedict’s continued presence in the Vatican have created confusion among the faithful and allowed traditionalist critics of Francis to use Benedict as a conservative point of reference, threatening the unity of the Catholic Church.

“The first experience went pretty well because he’s a holy, low-key man, and he handled the situation well,” Francis said of Benoît in the interview. “But in the future, things should be delineated more, or things should be made more explicit.”

“I think for taking the first step after so many centuries, he gets 10 points. It’s a marvel,” added Francis.

Francis said he would also step in if the time was right before he died while still serving, “if I survive”. He said ‘surely no’ when asked if he would live in the Vatican as a retired pope or return to Argentina, and said ‘maybe’ when it was suggested that he could settle in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, which is the traditional seat of the Bishop of Rome.

He recalled that he planned to retire as Archbishop of Buenos Aires during the 2013 conclave that led to him becoming pope. Francis said he had prepared a nice apartment in Buenos Aires where he could continue to confess in a nearby church and visit the sick in a hospital.

“That’s what I thought for Buenos Aires. I think that scenario, if I survive until a resignation – it is possible that I die before – … I would like something like that, ”he said. declared.

The interview covered other topics. On whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should continue to receive the sacraments, Francis reiterated that it was a matter of conscience for elected officials to work on their own. While the Catholic Church opposes abortion, Francis added that priests and bishops should remain pastors.

“When a pastor loses the pastoral dimension, he creates a political problem,” Francis said, referring to the “polarized” debate in the United States over President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both Catholics who support the right to abortion.

The US bishops considered reprimanding Biden for his support for abortion rights, but ultimately backed down from a formal reprimand. Pelosi’s bishop, Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone, has banned her from receiving communion in his archdiocese, although she recently received communion at a papal mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Asked what these Catholic politicians should do, Francis replied, “I leave that to his conscience and let him speak to his bishop, his pastor, his parish priest, about this inconsistency.”

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