Not John Paul III, not Benedict XVII. Who will succeed Pope Francis

Not John Paul III, not Benedict XVII. Who will succeed Pope Francis

Speculation about a possible abdication of the pope has been sweeping through the media since the summer of 2021. Franciszek then underwent bowel surgery. He also suggested that he could follow in the footsteps of Benedict XVI if his state of health did not allow for the management of the Church. Discussions on this flared up again when the Pope began to move around in a wheelchair due to severe knee problems. Francis then canceled his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Nevertheless, he assured that he had no plans to abdicate.

The rest of the text can be found under the video.

– We, as the public opinion, are turning up the subject of abdication. The Pope himself does not directly give many signals that he should step down. We have partial information from him that he is in favor of the term of office of the pope, which would compulsorily resign after reaching the age of 85. If such a regulation were in force, Francis would have obeyed it. But for the time being, we do not have such a reform of the Roman Curia and the Pope’s office itself – says prof. Arkadiusz Stempin from the European University in Krakow in the podcast “World Coordinates” of Radio ZET.

The Vaticanist assessed that in terms of personality, Pope Francis is similar to John Paul II, who “died in front of the world.” In his opinion, the present pope is a “great misfortune” for “traditionalists and conservatives in the ecclesiastical hierarchy.”

– I am more and more convinced that Francis will not want to step down, and at all costs lead to the election of Francis II at the next conclave, and not John Paul III or Benedict XVII – said prof. Stempin. The expert believes that the pope, through successive cardinal appointments, tried to build a majority in the electoral college so that it would elect Francis II.

Today, 128 cardinals have the opportunity to participate in the conclave. Prof. Stempin assessed that choosing Franciszek’s successor may be difficult, because the electoral college has never been as multicultural as it is today. In August, a consistory took place, during which Pope Francis appointed new cardinals, including the first-ever cardinals of Mongolia, Paraguay, Singapore, and East Timor. According to the expert, it is difficult to predict how they will vote during a possible conclave.

Prof. Stempin said at the same time that the supporters of the current pope indicate that his successor could be Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, president of the Italian episcopate who is “the spiritual son of Francis”. A group of conservatives, in turn, supports Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea.

Source: Radio ZET,

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