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Pope Francis recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St Peter's Square, at the Vatican. Andrew Medichini

Pope Francis dismisses resignation rumours

Francis also said he hopes to visit Moscow and Kyiv.

POPE FRANCIS HAS dismissed rumours that he plans to resign anytime soon.

Francis also told Reuters in an interview published today that the idea “never entered my mind” to announce a planned retirement at the end of the summer, though he repeated he might step down some day as Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI did in 2013.

He revealed that his knee trouble, which has caused him to use a wheelchair for more than a month, was caused by a “small fracture” that occurred when he stepped awkwardly while the knee ligament was inflamed.

He said it is “slowly getting better” with laser and magnet therapy.

He also denied rumours that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer during his colon operation in July 2021, saying it was merely “court gossip”.

Pressed on whether he might emulate his predecessor, who was the first pope since the middle ages to resign, Francis said “for the moment, no. For the moment, no. Really!”

But in the interview, which took place Saturday at the Vatican, he repeated his often-stated position that he might resign someday if failing health made it impossible for him to run the Church.

vatican-pope Pope Francis, pictured last month, has had mobility problems. Alessandra Tarantino Alessandra Tarantino

Francis was due to have visited parts of Africa, including South Sudan, this week but had to cancel the trip because doctors said he needed more therapy.

However, he said he was on board to travel to Canada from 24 to 30 July.

He also said that he hopes to visit Russia and Ukraine sometime after travelling to Canada.

He will travel to Canada this month, after which he said he would like to travel to Moscow and Kyiv if possible.

Additional reporting by © AFP 2022

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