I only have two to three years left to live – Pope Francis
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - 13:04
Pope Francis has said he might have only two or three years left to live.
On a plane trip back from South Korea, he told journalists he believed he only had limited time left to complete his reforms of the Roman Catholic Church.
Asked about how he copes with his popularity, he said: ‘I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, so as not to think that I am somebody important.’
He then added with a smile: ‘Because I know this is going to last a short time, two or three years and then… to the house of the Father.’
According to a Vatican source, the 77-year-old has previously told those close to him that he thought he only had a few years left.He also revealed that he would consider retiring if he felt he could no longer perform his duties.
His predecessor Pope Benedict XVI resigned in February last year.
‘If you asked me if, in the future, I felt I could not go forward, would I do the same? I would do the same. Benedict has opened a door,’ Francis said on board the papal plane.The conference marked the end of his trip to South Korea, which he had been touring since Thursday.
He also admitted that his advisers have been encouraging him to rest more after he cancelled a series of engagements earlier in the year.
Pope Francis has confirmed that he will be visiting Sri Lanka in January next year, in a series of visits to Asia, which he began by visiting South Korea.