Speculation that Pope Francis might end up retiring is heating up according to a new report.
Pope Francis appointed 21 new cardinals which would mean he has now stacked 83 of the 132 voting-age cardinals. This will likely ensure someone like Francis replaces him according to the report.
Pope Francis added fuel to rumors about the future of his pontificate by announcing he would visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, one of the few pontiffs who resigned before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013.
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, given his increased mobility problems that have forced him to use a wheelchair for the last month.
Those rumors gained steam last week when Francis announced a consistory to create 21 new cardinals scheduled for Aug. 27. Sixteen of those cardinals are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect Francis’ successor.
Once they are added to the ranks of princes of the church, Francis will have stacked the College of Cardinals with 83 of the 132 voting-age cardinals. While there is no guarantee how the cardinals might vote, the chances that they will tap a successor who shares Francis’ pastoral priorities become ever greater.
The significance of the visit to L’Aquila, located in central Italy, is that the feast he will celebrate there was initiated by Pope Celestine V. Celestine is among the few popes to ever resign. Pope Benedict XVI stepped aside in 2013, prompting the selection of Francis.
The significance of the consistory Francis called for Aug. 27 is that 21 new cardinals will be named, including 16 who are under 80 and can participate in the voting for the next pope.
The Palmieri Report is a Pro-America News Outlet. The Palmieri Report is dedicated to giving people the truth so that they can form their own informed political opinions.
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