Pope Francis has said that he can no longer travel like he used to because of his strained knee ligaments, saying his week-long Canadian pilgrimage was “a bit of a test” that showed he needed to slow down and one day possibly retire.
Speaking to reporters while traveling home from northern Canada, Francis, 85, stressed that he had not thought about resigning but said “the door is open” and there was nothing wrong with a pope stepping down.
“It’s not strange. It’s not a catastrophe. You can change the pope,” he said.
“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,” he said.
It was not the first time Francis has said that – should his health require it – he could follow his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who made history in 2013 by stepping down due to declining physical and mental health.
Francis used a wheelchair, walker and cane to get around during his trip.
He strained his right knee ligaments earlier this year, and continuing laser and magnetic therapy forced him to cancel a trip to