Pope Francis Dismisses Cancer Reports

Pope Francis has dismissed reports that he plans to resign in the near future.

In an exclusive interview in his Vatican residence, Francis, 85, also denied rumours that he had cancer, joking that his doctors “didn’t tell me anything about it”.

Rumours have swirled in the media that the conjunction of events in late August, including meetings with the world’s cardinals to discuss a new Vatican constitution, a ceremony to induct new cardinals, and a visit to the Italian city of L’Aquila, could foreshadow a resignation announcement.

L’Aquila is associated with Pope Celestine V, who resigned the papacy in 1294. Pope Benedict XVI visited the city four years before he resigned in 2013, the first pope to do so in about 600 years.

But Francis laughed the idea off. “All of these coincidences made some think that the same ‘liturgy’ would happen,” he said.
“But it never entered my mind. For the moment no, for the moment, no. Really!”

The pontiff told Reuters he is on track to visit Canada this month and hopes to be able to go to Moscow and Kyiv as soon as possible after that.

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