He must “save his powers a little” or “otherwise think about the possibility of stepping aside.” He added: “The Pope can be changed” – “that’s not a problem”.
In the past few weeks, the 85-year-old’s health problems had fueled speculation about a possible resignation. He had denied the rumors at the beginning of July. He didn’t think of retiring anytime soon. “At the moment, no, at the moment, no,” he said at the time.
At the same time, he did not fundamentally rule out one day, like his predecessor Benedict XVI. to resign if his health should prevent him from holding office. This door remains “open”, Francis now repeated. “But to this day I haven’t pushed open that door.” He hasn’t thought about it either, he added. “But that doesn’t mean I won’t start thinking about it the day after tomorrow.”
The pontiff suffers from pain in his right knee and has been using a cane or a wheelchair for months. In June he had canceled a trip to Africa planned for early July. That week he had traveled to Canada, accompanied by a doctor and a nurse.
“This trip was a bit of a test,” the pope said of his 37th trip abroad since his appointment. And his stay in Canada showed “that you cannot travel in this condition”. However, he will continue to try to “be close to people”.
Despite everything, he is sticking to his planned trip to Kyiv and a trip to Kazakhstan in September, said the head of the church. He also wants to make up for the canceled Africa trip to Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Three Berliners are said to have denigrated the virologist Christian Drosten on a campsite in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Police and prosecutors are investigating. The allegations are substantiated, and the campsite operator also reacted.
Tarek Müller drove drunk on an e-scooter through Hamburg at night. The police stopped him. A fine of 1,500 euros followed. However, Müller did not want to pay this and lodged an objection. The result: now he has to shell out 80,000 euros.
The US economy shrank in the spring. After a decline in economic output at the beginning of the year, gross domestic product fell by 0.9 percent on an annualized basis in the second quarter, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday. Experts had expected growth of 0.4 percent.