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Pope denies resignation rumors, hopes to visit Kyiv, Moscow

Vatican Pope
Posted at 7:07 AM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 10:12:26-04

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has dismissed rumors he plans to resign anytime soon and that he hopes to visit Moscow and Kyiv after traveling to Canada later this month.

Francis also told Reuters in an interview published Monday that the idea “never entered my mind” to announce a planned retirement at the end of the summer, though he repeated he might step down someday as Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI did in 2013.

He revealed that his knee trouble, which has caused him to use a wheelchair for over a month, was caused by a “small fracture” that occurred when he misstepped while the knee ligament was inflamed.

"I am well," he said. "I am slowly getting better."

The pope is holding out hope that the conflict in Ukraine could be resolved. He said he would like to visit Russia before going to Ukraine.

"After I come back from Canada, it is possible that I manage to go to Ukraine," Pope Francis said. "The first thing is to go to Russia to try to help in some way, but I would like to go to both capitals."

In the interview with Reuters, the pope also wading into the U.S. abortion debate following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. He likened abortion to "hiring a hit man."

The pope said, "I ask: Is it legitimate, is it right, to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem?"