VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he has thought about when it might be time to “take leave” of his flock.
Francis made the comment during his morning homily Tuesday; the Vatican didn’t release the full text.
Francis was reflecting on St. Paul discerning when to leave his flock in the care of others, a decision Francis said all bishops must make.
He said: “When I read this, I think about myself, because I’m a bishop and I’ll have to take my leave.”
Francis has said retired Pope Benedict XVI “opened a door” to future popes by resigning. While the 81-year-old pope has said he didn’t envisage a long papacy, he hasn’t said explicitly if he’d retire.
Francis may have also been referring to Chilean bishops implicated in a sex abuse cover-up scandal.