Pope Francis reveals he has signed a letter of resignation that goes into force in case of bad health

Pope Francis reveals he has signed a letter of resignation that goes into force in case of bad health

Pope Francis said that he had shared the letter with the then Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Pope Francis has revealed that back in 2013 when a papal conclave elected him he had also signed a letter of resignation.

As per Reuters, the reason behind this was so that the letter could be used if "someday" due to severe and permanent health problems he is unable to carry out his duties.

Speaking to a Spanish newspaper ABC, he, however, commented that at the age of 86 except for a knee ailment he seems to be in good health.

Pope Francis said that he had shared the letter with the then Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

"I have already signed my resignation. Tarcisio Bertone was Secretary of State. I signed it and I told him: 'In case of an impediment for medical reasons or whatever, here is my resignation'," said Francis.

Francis has long been an advocate of the establishment of an official norm for cases where an accident or health problems impede a Pope's work. He has also often said that he will resign if his health impaired him from running the 1.3 billion-member Roman Catholic Church.

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You have it (the letter of resignation). I don't know to whom Cardinal Bertone may have given it, but I gave it to him when he was Secretary of State," said Francis adding that he was revealing the letter's existence for the first time in public.

He also added that he believed Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) and Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) who had both died while in office had signed similar resignation letters. 

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