Pope Francis: Retirement Isn't Off the Table

    Photo: AP [via NY Post]

    The Facts

    • After the conclusion of a six-day trip to Canada, Pope Francis said that, although he intends to continue his duties for the moment, he would consider stepping down if his health continues to deteriorate.

    • His visit to Canada saw him apologize to Indigenous communities over the Catholic Church's involvement in Canadian residential schools where pupils were abused and forcibly assimilated into Western culture.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Although, traditionally, religious leaders die in office, the modern world has transformed the papacy. Technological advances - such as social media and the ability to travel worldwide - have created a more dynamic and burdensome role, while medical advancements, which extend life, mean good health in old age isn't able to keep up.

    Narrative B

    Despite the Pope's physical limitations, he is mentally fit and able to fulfill the most important duties of the papacy. While he's expressed openness to resigning, he hasn't yet made any announcement, and likely won't for some time.

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