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VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis has no plans of retiring from the papacy.
In response to a question from a young person during an event Sunday at the Vatican, the pontiff said, "I never thought of quitting being pope, or of leaving because of the many responsibilities."
Back in 2014, while talking to reporters on a flight back to the Vatican from South Korea, Pope Francis said that in two or three years he would "be off to the Father's house."
"I see it as the generosity of the people of God," the pontiff stated. "I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's house."
Shortly following his election, several media outlets reported that while the Pope didn't appear to be struggling with any particular illness at the moment, he did only have one full lung, making him more susceptible to diseases like pneumonia.
However, these reports were denied by Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, who clarified that His Holiness was only missing a small part of one lung that was removed in the 1950s.
"I confirm that many, many years ago he had an operation in which part of a lung was removed," Lombardi noted.
Pope Francis was also asked in March last year whether it would become normal for popes to retire like his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, rather than serving until death as has been custom. The Holy Father replied,
In general I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the Popes Emeritus. Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution. Maybe he will be the only one for a long time, maybe he will not be the only one. But an institutional door has been opened. Today the Pope Emeritus is no longer a rarity since a door for him to exist as a figure has been opened.
The Pope spoke at a gathering in the Vatican for the Scholas Occurentes Global Educational Initiative.
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