An associate of an English Roman Catholic Cardinal has predicted that Pope Francis will resign from his office by the end of the year, following in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013. Pope Francis was elected by the College of Cardinals in the same year.
Austen Ivereigh, a former Director for Public Affairs for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, made the claim that Francis would resign this year. Ivereigh continues to work closely with the Vatican.
“I don’t think there was ever any doubt that he will resign in 2020,” said the Catholic journalist. “He made it clear from the start that he viewed Pope Benedict XVI’s act as a prophetic act of great modesty and that he would have absolutely no problem doing the same.” Ivereigh cited Pope Francis’ own remarks in interviews around the start of his papacy, in which he predicted he’d serve as Pope for no more than four or five years.
Pope Francis is broadly thought of as a figure aligned with the more liberal wing of the Catholic Church, alienating some traditionalists at times with support of left-wing ideology. However, the Pope has emphasized Catholic moral teachings in many instances, only to be ignored by English-speaking media interested only in promoting remarks that lend credence to open borders and liberal ideology.
The Pope is slated to preside over Christmas liturgies, altered in schedule and capacity on account of coronavirus. He will deliver the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” papal message on Christmas day, with his next public remarks scheduled for December 31st, 2020.
A papal conclave to elect Francis’ successor would likely be competitive, with the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy divided among traditionalists and liberals. Pope Francis has appointed 101 cardinals from 58 countries.
Two successive papal resignations would all but ensure the Catholic tradition of a Pope serving until his death is abrogated, ensuring that younger and more energetic bishops will have the chance to serve as the Bishop of the Rome.