Pope Francis said Saturday he needed to slow down, telling reporters after a six-day Canada trip he could no longer maintain his hectic international travel schedule — while acknowledging he could also retire.
“I don’t think I can go at the same pace as I used to travel,” the 85-year-old pope, who is suffering from knee pain and relied on a wheelchair during his Canada visit, told reporters on his papal plane. “I think that at my age and with this (knee) limitation, I have to save myself a little bit to be able to serve the Church. Or, alternatively, to think about the possibility of stepping aside,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis recently warned worldly Christians who go to church and still acted selfishly. He explained that a lot of men go to church for worldly pleasure and still store evil in their hearts. The rich man boasted of fine clothing and ate lavish meals, while Lazarus was a beggar who lived near his house, struggling with hunger and diseases.
Pope Francis explained that the rich man was not really evil, but “the eyes of his soul were certainly tinted so as not to see.” “Maybe he was a religious man, in his own way,” the Pope said. “Maybe he prayed and a couple times a year he surely went up to the temple to offer sacrifices and he gave big donations to the priests, who in their clerical cowardice would thank him and give him a seat of honour.”
But it did not matter what “good deeds” he made in honour of the church. The rich man still failed to recognise the plight of the poor man who was living so close to his home. Pope Francis then applied the parable to modern times, warning that a lot of people are religious but their hearts are overshadowed by worldliness, and so they fail to witness the suffering of the people around them.
“With a worldly heart you can go to church, you can pray, you can do many things,” Pope Francis said. “But if your heart is worldly you cannot understand the needs and hardships of others.”
He called this blindness not only a “subtle sin,” but “a sinful state of the soul.”