Rome Newsroom, Sep 5, 2022 / 07:59 am
With the next World Youth Day less than a year away, Pope Francis has promised that a pope will be in attendance, but joked that it may be “Pope John XXIV.”
Pope Francis told CNN Portugal in a television interview that aired on Sept. 4 that he plans to attend the 2023 World Youth Day, the largest international Catholic youth gathering scheduled to take place in Lisbon next August.
“I plan to go. The pope is going to go — either Francis or John XXIV — but the pope is going,” he joked.
The quip was made after months of speculation in the media that the 85-year-old pope could be close to retirement. Pope Francis told journalists on his return from Canada in July that he is “open” to the possibility of retiring if he discerns that it is God’s will.