Pope Francis refuted speculations that he would step down soon and said that he will be visiting Canada this month before heading to Moscow and Kyiv.
According to media sources, a series of occasions in late August, such as conferences with cardinals from across the world to talk about a new Vatican constitution and a trip to the Italian city of L’Aquila, might portend a retirement soon.
The 1294 resignation of Pope Celestine V is connected to L’Aquila. Four years before he resigned as pope in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit to the city.
Francis did, however, mention that if his health ever prevented him from leading the Church, he may one day step down, as he has done several times before.
When asked when he thought such a moment might come, he said, “We don’t know. God will say.”
Pope Francis spoke on the conflict that still exists between Russia and Ukraine. He said that discussions on a future trip to Moscow had taken place between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
The pope has regularly chastised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and no pope has ever visited Moscow. Francis charged Moscow with waging a brutal and pointless campaign of aggression against its neighbor last week.
The Vatican requested a visitation some months ago, but the Pope claims Moscow denied it because the time was unsuitable.
He did say that a trip could be more likely today, though.
Francis also discussed the most recent Roe v. Wade decision by the US Supreme Court. He claimed he accepted the court’s ruling but lacked the expertise to comment on the issue’s legal aspects.
He vehemently disapproved of abortion and likened it to hiring a hit man.
According to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, life starts at conception.