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In an interview, the Pope said that “to the World Youth Day in Lisbon, next year, “the Pope is going to go. Either Francis goes or John XXIV goes, but the Pope goes. Francis thus launched a new hypothesis about his likely resignation. A clue that included a non-existent successor, whom he baptized with an emblematic name, that of Saint John XXIII, who convened shortly after his election, in 1959, the Second Vatican Council, which reconciled the Church with the world modern. Some consider him the most revolutionary pontiff of the last century in the Church.

Jorge Bergoglio has chosen some journalists who interview him, almost all of them women, to talk about the hypothesis of his resignation. He now he pointed out to the Portuguese branch of the chain CNN: “Not now,” he said, “in the future we will see,” due to his health ailments that prevent him from carrying out his public activity well. In December he will be 86 years old.

He had already told Valentina Alasraki, from the Mexican network Televisa, that “if the time comes, I will resign from the ministry of bishop of Rome and I will be bishop emeritus of Rome.” He thus liquidated the condition of Pope Emeritus invented by Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, because “Dad there is only one”.

Regarding his resignation, he said “not now, when I feel that the Lord asks me, yes”.

Baptizing his successor John XXIV seems like a joke, but in reality it is quite a program and shows that Francis is carefully planning the before and after of his resignation.

It means remembering that his pontificate is deeply inspired by that of John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council, although Bergoglio is careful to point out its continuity with those who followed him: Paul VI, John Paul I, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

The presumed John XXIV today has the semblance of the favorite to triumph in the future conclave that will probably meet in the Sistine Chapel with Jorge Bergoglio still alive and his resignation fresh, two weeks after his resignation.

It is not true that whoever enters the Conclave as a virtual Pope leaves a cardinal. This was not the case with Pius XII, Paul VI and Benedict XVI, powerful figures in the Curia who favorites came in and potatoes came out.

The next will probably be Cardinal Matteo Maria Zupy, a Roman from the powerful community of Sant’Egidio, Archbishop of Bologna, who will turn 67 on October 11. He has been elected president of the Italian Episcopal Conference at the will of Francis, who as Bishop of Rome and Pope is the natural leader of the largest assembly of bishops in the Church.

As the Italians say, “the air that pulls” pushes in that direction. Zupy has already been interviewed by the Roman Observatorythe Vatican newspaper, and by the Corriere della Serathe main Italian morning paper.

Zupy is nice and very intellectually gifted. He explains himself simply, he quotes the Pope several times and it is without a doubt an iron bergogliano. “On the side of the poor” is its direct motto.

The Pope pulls the strings of his succession and prepares the rules that will govern the burning issue of the pope’s resignation. The great conservative theologian Joseph Ratzinger resigned in 2013 at the age of 85 and there is still speculation about the causes of his resignation.

There is no doubt that for more than a year he had decided to resign, besieged by the conflicts that emanated daily from the cockfight between the cardinals of the Curia. But he too had had two strokes when he was a cardinal, a disease in his family, and he believed he wouldn’t live much longer if he didn’t take care of him.

Ratzinger was right because he governed eight years as Pope and is about to complete 10 years as emeritus. At age 95 he is slowly fading away in the monastery in the Vatican gardens that he had over time prepared as his residence.

The Vatican confirmed this Wednesday that within a week Francisco will make an apostolic journey to Kazakhstanin central Asia, whose main purpose is to participate in an Interreligious Congress with leaders of the main religions.

The main objective was to arrange a meeting with the patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, Kirill, to promote an understanding between the invaded Ukraine and the Russian aggressor.

Kirill strongly supports the Russian invasion and is a close adviser to the president Vladimir Putin, atheist converted to the Orthodox faith. The Orthodox Church has as faithful the vast majority of the 150 million inhabitants of Russia.

But the interview will not take place, unless there are last minute news. Patriarch Kirill was offended that Francis said that he should not be “Putin’s altar boy”.

The Argentine Pope announced two days ago that doctors had prohibited him from traveling to Ukraine and Moscow to advance his projected peace mediation. He explained that the reason was that had resented again the right knee on the trip to Canada.

The announcement of the trip to Kazakhstan in a week looks like a contradictionbut perhaps his Asian tour will not force him to extraordinary efforts.

The Pope can stand up, but in general he uses a wheelchair when he travels.

Vatican correspondent.


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