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World News

Pope says he's not resigning, but if he did he wouldn't live at the Vatican

by Donna Birrell

Pope Francis has said he has no intention of resigning "for the moment" but that if he did he wouldn't live in the Vatican.

In an interview with Spanish streaming service, Televisa Univision, the 85-year-old who has been suffering health and mobility issues, denied he was planning to retire any time soon but implied the door was open :

"At the moment, I don't feel that the Lord is asking me. If I felt He was asking me, then yes."

In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope in 600 years to step down and now lives at the Vatican. Pope Francis said that is something he personally wouldn't consider.

He said he also wouldn't consider returning to his native Argentina, preferring instead to find a church in Rome - possibly the city's cathedral church, St John Lateran :"I am the Bishop of Rome. In that case I would be the bishop emeritus of Rome." 

In the interview, the Pontiff recalled that before becoming Pope, when he was Archbishop Emeritus of Buenos Aires, he had already prepared for his retirement.

He said it would have been important for him to hear confessions and visit the sick: "To be at the service of the people where you can, this is what I was thinking about in Buenos Aires." 

He added that he would enjoy doing the same now if he were to ever resign the papacy.

Speculation over the Pope's health has been growing since he cancelled a trip to Africa this month. 

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