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Pope Francis speaks during his general audience on November 30 in St Peter’s Square, Vatican (CNA/Daniel-Ibanez)

Pope Francis says he has already signed his resignation in case a health impediment prevented him from being able to continue governing the Church. Source: CNA.

During an interview published yesterday by Spanish newspaper ABC, the Pope responded to the question of what would happen “if a pontiff is suddenly disabled due to health problems or an accident”.

“I have already signed my resignation,” Pope Francis replied, adding that he did so when the Vatican Secretary of State was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

“I signed it and told him: ‘In case of impediment for medical reasons or whatever it may be, here is my resignation.’ They already have it. I don’t know who Cardinal Bertone gave it to, but I gave it to him when he was Secretary of State,” he said.

Cardinal Bertone was appointed Secretary of State by Benedict XVI in 2006 and continued in office until August 31, 2013, during the pontificate of Pope Francis.

When asked if he wanted this to become known, Francis replied “that’s why I’m saying it”. 

“Now someone will go to ask Bertone for it: ‘Give me that piece of paper!’” the Pope said, laughing. “He probably handed it over to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the new Secretary of State. I gave it to Bertone as he was the Secretary of State,” he said.

During the interview, Francis said that he hasn’t delved “at all” into a statute to specify the definition of pope emeritus. 

“I didn’t even have the idea of doing it. It must be that the Holy Spirit has no interest in me being concerned about those things,” he said.


Pope Francis: Resignation already signed ‘in case of medical impediment’ (By Eduardo Berdejo, CNA)


Pope in 2013 signed resignation letter in case of bad health (Reuters)

In new interview, Pope asks for ‘peace in the world’ for Christmas (Vatican News)