NEWS Rumors of Pope Francis resignation intensify amid appointment of new cardinals, unusual trip

Pope Francis delivers his blessing from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 24, 2020. For the first time in months, well-spaced faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the traditional Sunday papal blessing, casting their gaze at the window where the pope normally addresses the faithful, since the square had been closed due to anti-coronavirus lockdown measures. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The AP reported that “Italian and Catholic media have been rife with unsourced speculation that the 85-year-old Francis might be planning to follow in Benedict’s footsteps who also resigned when he was 85.”

Recently the Pope has been seen traveling via wheelchair as illness and mobility problems have caught up with him in his old age.

 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:28

Francis expressed his intention to visit L’Aquila in August for a feast associated with Pope Celestine V – the last pope to resign before Pope Benedict XVI.

Francis will visit L’Aquila and say Mass on August 28 and open the “Holy Door” at the basilica hosting Celestine’s tomb. This will take place the day immediately after the consistory on August 27 where he is set to make a slew of new cardinals, 16 of whom are voting age.

The visit coincides with the L’Aquila church’s celebration of the Feast of Forgiveness, which was created by Celestine V.

The timing of the August consistory is also curious according to the AP for another reason: “The Vatican and the rest of Italy are usually on holiday in August to mid-September, with all but essential business closed. Calling a major consistory in late August to create new cardinals, gathering churchmen for two days of talks on implementing his reform and making a symbolically significant pastoral visit suggests Francis might have out-of-the-ordinary business in mind.”

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