news Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | March 15, 2015 | 5.45 pm IST

Christian community worldwide has been taken by surprise with Pope Francis’s statement that he may resign his papacy in about three more years.

The Pope told Mexico's Televisa television that he believed he would remain as pope a bit longer and then resign, as his predecessor did. In February 2013, Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign in almost 600 years.

"I have the feeling that the Lord has put me here for something short, not more, four or five years, or maybe two or three. Well, two have already gone,” Pope Francis told Televisa on Friday.

He has also added that he would love to be a common man rather than a person who is been identified by all.

"The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza." He said.

The Pope of reformation

Pope Francis has been on a mission to reform the church since he took over the charge in March 2013.

The first pope from Latin America, he has been unique and even revolutionary in the context of the recent history of the papacy with regard to his decisions and reforms on Catholic traditions, rites, doctrine and laws.

His remarkable decision of welcoming gay lesbian marriages had invited huge controversy and many other leaders in the church had rejected the view. That was the first time a Pope attempted to reform the church’s traditional approach to the sexual minority.

He has also chosen the difficult path to reform by opting to have his bishops freely discuss Catholic teaching on sex.
His effort to reform doctrines has also sparked fierce opposition with many resisting any changes in pastoral practice.

Though traditional church norms considered family planning a sin, Pope Francis had recently advised to go for it. He said: “We do not need to breed like rabbits.”

Many Cardinals and Bishops accused the pope of harming the Church as they completely rejected the reforms he brought for easing restrictions on divorced and remarried Catholics and gay marriages at the 2014 synod in October.

The Latin American Pontiff advocated for female education and called it a 'vital intervention in lifting whole families and communities out of poverty'.

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