Pope expects to die in Rome – either in office or emeritus

In a new book Pope Francis hints at possible retirement, saying he’ll either be in office or emeritus when he dies.

Regardless of whether Francis dies in office or emeritus, he intends staying in Rome and wants to be buried there. He does not want to be buried in Buenos Aires, where he spent most of his life.

“I will not go back to Argentina,” Francis says.

The book’s author medical doctor Nelson Castro examines the health of recent popes from Leo XIII to Francis. It was published in Buenos Aires on Monday.

The book examines in depth John Paul II’s long illness, John Paul I’s sudden death, the problems Paul VI had with a prostate operation, John XXIII’s agonising death, Pius XII’s health problems, the false news of the death of Benedict XV, the legend of Pius XI’s poisoning, the pain of war that drove Pius X to his death and Leo XIII’s longevity.

It also discusses Francis’s health – its ups and downs and his views on his eventual death.

Asked if he feared death, Francis responded, “Absolutely not.”

An excerpt from Castro’s interview with Francis was published on Saturday in the Argentine daily newspaper La Nacion.

In this, one of the subjects Francis speaks about is the surgical removal of cysts from the top lobe of his right lung in October 1957 when he was 21.

He says he made “a complete recovery” from that operation, “and never felt any limitation since then”.

The book also makes it clear that despite persistent rumours, the Pope has both lungs. He had not had one removed, as many have reported.

Francis also makes it clear he has “never” undergone psychoanalysis as some have reported.

He did, however, visit “a great woman psychologist,” once a week for six months, he says.

Francis says these visits were made during the period when he was taking great risks in assisting people to escape during Argentina’s military dictatorship. The psychologist helped him deal with the tensions and fears he experienced at that time, he added.

Francis told Castro he sometimes suffers from “neurotic anxiety,” but he has largely learned to overcome it by listening to Bach or sipping “mate,” a popular Argentinean herbal drink.

In the full interview for the book, Francis speaks of his various medical ailments, but concludes he is well cared for and is in good health for a person of his age.

Castro says it was Francis himself who suggested in 2017, when he visited him in the Vatican, that he should write a book on the health of the popes.

At that time, Francis promised to give him an interview on his own health for the book, which has been published under the title “The Health of the Popes: Medicine, plots and faith, from Leo XIII to Francis”.


Additional reading

News category: Top Story, World.

Tags: , ,