This article puts forth the theory that Pope Francis will resign. The Pope himself has said his papacy would probably be short. So, I can see it happening. But it is not good for this to become a habit in the Church.
We shall see. I don’t believe it until it happens.
I hope not. The last thing we need is THREE popes.
Three Popes are better than One?
It’s like a joke. Three popes walk into a bar…umm, NO.
Can’t see him doing this with Pope Benedict still alive, unless there is a serious medical condition about to disable Pope Francis.
Benedict XVI was two months short of his eighty-sixth birthday when he announced his retirement. Pope Francis will reach that point in October 2022, but it would be risky to try and read too much into that. Some people naturally age more quickly than others.
Is there any theological reason there could not be term limits on Popes?
I like Pope Francis. I believe he has done a great job.
As for the length of time a Pontiff serves, I believe quality of service is more important than quantity of time serving.
On the other hand, like Pope Benedict, a Pope should be able to retire each.
Let the Holy Spirit move each Pope as to how much time they spend as Pope.
It would certainly be a great, but un precedented advisory board with two or more popes emeritus.
I do not think anything like this has been defined. It is an interesting question, but would not carry much weight. A pope could just waive the limits on himself if he wanted.
The Pope probably means that his life after the Papacy will be short.
This will mean that his Papacy will be cut short by death not by resignation.
Pope Francis said that Cardinal Kasper is one of his “favorite theologians.” And Cdl. Kasper has a long history of producing theological papers insisting that the papacy should be reduced to something more in line with a secular leader. In other words, he does not really see the office as established by Christ, i.e. divine origin. Kasper views the papacy as a type of civil leader post subject to popular vote, resignations, and permitting one’s conscience to take precedence over the will of God.
If pope Francis is looking at the number of years pope JP II was pope then it is very likely that his will be a lot fewer.
There was a time during the Middle ages that there were disagreements regarding who was pope so there were “three” but it wasn’t very good for the Church. Church history can be very interesting indeed.
There would still only be one Pope, plus two living ex-Popes. Which is certainly unusual, but not any kind of crisis.
Pope John Paul II was elected at the age of 58, and served 20 years in reasonable health, before declining quickly in his late 70’s. Pope Benedict was only 7 years younger than John Paul II, and retired when he was two years older than John Paul II at his death. Francis is now two years year younger than John Paul II at his death.
Health can decline rapidly and unpredictably after age 75. It would not be inappropriate for the a similarly aged man to retire before his faculties fade. In the distant past, pope’s did not have advanced medicine, so advanced service while incapacitated by illness was relatively rare. I would argue it would be best for a Pope to retire when his faculties are fully intact, so that their is no reasonable doubt as to the free consent to resign. Retiring in good health allows for the orderly transition of church health.
There is already a procedure in place for orderly transition.
St. John Paul the Great is an example of exactly why resignation is not the norm. He continued to be a productive writer through his physical ailments. He continued to travel the world despite being bound to a chair. Parkinson’s affected his speech, not his mind. He stands as a saint for the elderly and weak, marginalized by a society that worships youth and vigor. He stands as an example that even in old age life is still precious. He showed that even the infirm and elderly are part of the Body of Christ.
Finally, he stands for Gospel, that it is only in weakness that God’s strength is made perfect. So we must not look at the papacy as some worldly position of the Church. The world, led by the media, will not get this. Therefore, we forget this.
Canon Law allows for resignation of a Pope; though unusual, it is not inappropriate:
Can. 332 §1. The Roman Pontiff obtains full and supreme power in the Church by his acceptance of legitimate election together with episcopal consecration. Therefore, a person elected to the supreme pontificate who is marked with episcopal character obtains this power from the moment of acceptance. If the person elected lacks episcopal character, however, he is to be ordained a bishop immediately.
§2. If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.
I think it was a comedian priest, Fr Sarducci, who suggested the Papacy was too big of a job for one man. So he suggested a Pope John Paul II 1 and a Pope John Paul II 2.