Pope says that he is considering retirement

Pope Francis is one of the hardest-working world leaders. He rarely takes breaks or vacations despite a punishing schedule. It appeared that this lifestyle could be taking its toll when the pope told reporters during a press conference that he feels he may only have a few more years left to live.

On his way back from the trip to Korea, Pope Francis told media aboard the plane that he is able to cope with his popularity because he knows that it will not last forever. In a transcript provided by America Magazine, the pope stated that, “Interiorly, I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, so as not to think that I am somebody. Because I know this will last a short time, two or three years, and then to the house of the Father.”

Even though he has not previously spoken about his physical health, the Guardian reported that a Vatican source had said that he told those close to him that he may only have a few years left to live.

The pope said that he has to be careful about not becoming overworked when asked about his work schedule.

“Yes, it is true, I had to cancel,” Pope Francis stated. “The day I should have gone to the Gemelli [hospital], up to 10 minutes before I was there, but I could not do it. It is true, they were seven very demanding days then, full of engagements. Now I have to be a little more prudent.”

Pope Francis also talked about the prospect of his retirement, which could make him just the second pope to retire in over 600 years after the resignation of Pope Benedict XIV, prompting his eventual election.

This wouldn’t be the first time that he has talked about retirement. In May, he suggested that “Benedict XVI is not a unique case.”