Will Pope Francis follow in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI?
|Photo credit: Vatican News|
He has stated that he would. He has already picked a retirement house in Buenos Aires for where he would like to live and plans to work as a priest. He said this is what he was planning on doing before he became pope and wishes to return to that plan as pope emeritus (Akin, 2014). Some speculate this could be as early as after Christmas of 2020 (FR News, 2020). An article from Keep the Faith in February 2020, states that there is "no doubt he will resign in 2020" (Hoare, 2020). Another, who cites a comment from Pope Francis, more clearly states - "the question is not if Francis will resign, but more likely when will he actually do so" (Mickens, 2019).
The bottom line is, Pope Francis has not definitively declared he will resign after Christmas, 2020. What we have here is speculation from news agencies and others who are basing their speculation on implied statements that Pope Francis has made. Could it be after Christmas and still within 2020? Well, as of the writing of this article, we have a little over a week to find out! Based upon what is out there, it is the opinion of this writer that he likely will follow in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI. Whether that will happen in 2020, or at some future date, this writer cannot and will not say.
Akin, J. (2014). Pope Francis announces he may renounce the papacy one day: 6 things to know and share [blog]. National Catholic Register. https://www.ncregister.com/blog/pope-francis-announces-he-may-renounce-the-papacy-one-day-6-things-to-know-and-share
FR24 News (2020). Pope: "Without a doubt" the Pope will resign after Christmas when Francis has pledged to "follow Benedict". FR24 News. https://www.fr24news.com/a/2020/12/pope-without-a-doubt-the-pope-will-resign-after-christmas-when-francis-has-pledged-to-follow-benedict-world-new.html
Hoare, C. (2020). Pope Francis: 'No doubt will resign in 2020' claim revealed amid slap video row. Keep the Faith. https://www.keepthefaith.co.uk/2020/01/18/pope-francis-no-doubt-he-will-resign-in-2020-claim-revealed-amid-slap-video-row/
Mickens, R. (2019). The resignation of Pope Francis. LaCroix International. https://international.la-croix.com/news/letter-from-rome/the-resignation-of-pope-francis/9416