(TotalConservative.com) – Pope Francis will continue to serve as pontiff as long as he is able, according to his first interview since the passing of retired Pope Benedict XVI. The passage of the late pontiff has allowed more criticism of the Vatican and Pope Francis to circulate, though he appreciates the freedom that allows people to speak critically.
The passage of the late Pope Benedict on New Year’s Eve ends 10 years of an unprecedented situation in modern times where the previous pope retired and lived on, serving as an occasional adviser and confidant to Pope Francis. Despite disagreements, Pope Francis deeply appreciated and respected his predecessor calling him a “gentleman” and regarding his death: “I lost a dad.”
“For me, he was a security. In the face of a doubt, I would ask for the car and go to the monastery and ask,” Francis said regarding their visits.
Francis spoke of unjust laws impacting gay people around the world and suggested everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
“I might die tomorrow, but it’s under control, I’m in good health,” Pope Francis said regarding his health. He spoke of being relatively healthy, though normal for his age.
Pope Francis acknowledged the waves of criticism that have crashed against the Vatican, critiquing himself or the late Pope Benedict. “You prefer they don’t criticize,” he said. “But I prefer that they do it,” as it demonstrates there is freedom of speech and an openness that allows critique. He did mention that he prefers open critique so that growth can happen.
The controversy was spun when the previous pope retired, with some Vatican lawyers and cardinals suggesting they should establish norms for when a pope retires, though Francis says he hasn’t given it any thought. The main criticism being there can only be one pope. When asked, Francis said the Vatican will need more experience with the phenomenon before it can establish any regulations regarding the situation.
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