Jul 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

After Canada trip, Pope Francis says he is considering retirement

Pope Francis departs after presiding over an evening prayer service at the Basilique-cathedral Notre-Dame in Quebec, Canada.

Pope Francis departs at the Basilique-cathedral Notre-Dame in Quebec, Canada. Photo: Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis said Saturday that he can't travel like he used to and "the door is open" for him to eventually resign or retire, the Associated Press reports.

Driving the news: “I think at my age and with these limitations, I have to save (my energy) to be able to serve the church, or on the contrary, think about the possibility of stepping aside,” Francis said.

  • His comments came as he flew home from a weeklong pilgrimage to Canada, which he called "a bit of a test” for his body due to his strained knee ligaments. The trip taught him a lot about his body's limits, he told AP.
  • “It’s not strange. It’s not a catastrophe. You can change the pope,” he said.

The big picture: Francis recently visited Canada where he publicly apologized for the Catholic Church's role in what generations of Indigenous children experienced at Canadian residential schools, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.

  • Hundreds of suspected unmarked graves have been found at former schools for Indigenous children.
  • Roughly 150,000 children from 1883 to 1996 were forced to "assimilate" into white Canadian culture.
  • Francis visited former schools in Alberta, Quebec City and Iqaluit, Nunavut, during his six-day visit to Canada.

Go deeper: Canada First Nation finds mass grave at another school site

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