Set papal retirement age at 85?

Sunday sermons, weekday observations

Francis, age 85, would like to do this.

Rumours multiply in Rome that Francis is about to regulate the retirement of a pope with a Motu Proprio, after Benedict XVI’s retirement produced confusion and chaos.

According to Specola (, August 26), Francis wants to set an age threshold for popes at 85 years at which the sitting pope “must” step down, thus turning the papacy into a temporary office.

However . . .

. . . like most things Francis does, this idea would not be [followed] through to its conclusion, because a pope cannot “present” a resignation, only “declare” it, and if he doesn’t, no motu proprio can force him to do so.

He is certainly full of ideas, is he not?

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