Pope Francis has marked the second anniversary of his election by giving a hint that his time at the Vatican may be short, saying he would be ready to resign rather than ruling the Catholic Church for life, Agencies report.
The revelation came in a lengthy interview with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa, released on the second anniversary of his surprise election.
“I have a feeling my pontificate will be brief,” said the Catholic pontif.
“Four or five years, I don’t know. Two years have already gone by.
“It is a vague feeling I have that the Lord chose me for a short mission. I am always open to that possibility.”
The first pope from Latin America has hinted in the past that he could retire, emulating his predecessor Benedict XVI, who became the first pope to resign in seven centuries when he stepped down in February 2013, saying that his decision is “courageous”.
“I share the idea of what Benedict did. In 2013, former Pope Benedict became the first head of the Roman Catholic Church in 600 years to resign instead of ruling until he died.
“In general, I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the popes emeritus. Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution,” Francis said.
The Pope also said he was opposed to the idea of an age limit for leaders of the Catholic Church.
“To say that one is in charge up to 80 years, creates a sensation that the pontificate is at its end and that would not be a good thing,” he added.
A papal conclave elected Pope Francis as Benedict XVI’s successor on March 13, 2013.
During the interview, he admitted he was “surprised” by the decision and had only carried a small suitcase to Rome, with the expectation he would return to Buenos Aires.