On Monday, rumors began to grow that the resignation of Pope Francis may be quickly approaching.
Early Monday morning, Megyn Kelly shared a video on Twitter about the speculation. She cited multiple unusual occurrences at the Vatican while she and her family were there, specifically the presence of more Cardinals than usual.
Unusual activity at the Vatican as reports break that Pope Francis may be about to resign. (And we are there!) pic.twitter.com/P2AetNECH1
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 20, 2022
Speculation of an impending resignation has been growing for months, especially after comments made by Pope Francis himself.
“When you are old,” the Pope said, “you are no longer in control of your body. One has to learn to choose what to do and what not to do.”
Recently, he postponed a July apostolic visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, citing advice from his doctor. On Monday, the Vatican announced that Francis would not participate in the Corpus Christi mass due to health concerns.
Further speculation has increased due to events that have recently been added to the Papal calendar.
First, the Pope announced an August gathering of all the world’s cardinals, which ordinarily occurs when it’s time to elect a new pontiff. The Vatican also announced a papal trip to the central Italian city of L’Aquila for a feast first held by Pope Celestine V more than 700 years ago. During that trip Pope Francis plans to visit Celestine’s tomb.
The scheduled visit to Celestine V’s tomb has set off alarm bells for many Vatican watchers. It follows a trend in the most recent decades. Pope Benedict XVI visited Celestine’s tomb in 2009; he later became the first pope in nearly six centuries to step down. Before Pope Benedict VXI, the only other Pope to abdicate the position was Celestine, which occurred six centuries before.
The activity at the Vatican, and the apparent failing health of Pope Francis, have many believing the Pope is ready to abdicate and call on the Cardinals to appoint a new leader for the Catholic church.