Pope Francis did not consider retiring following his recent illness and surgery. And he only discovered he was thinking about it by reading his local newspaper last week.
“I read only one newspaper here in the morning, the newspaper of Rome,” he said. “I don’t watch television. And I do receive the report about some of the news of the day.
“But I found out much later, a few days later, that there was something about me resigning. Whenever a Pope is ill, there is always a breeze or a hurricane of conclave.”
In his first interview since colon surgery in July, Pope Francis told Spanish COPE Radio: “I don’t know where they got it from last week that I was going to resign.
“They say it was a commotion, when it didn’t even cross my mind.
“When there are interpretations that are a little distorted about some of my words, I keep quiet, because trying to clarify them is worse.”
Pope Francis also spoke about the recent document, Traditionis Custodes, which bans the Tridentine Rite in parish churches.
He said he had revised the decision of his predessor, Pope Benedict, because a pastoral decision was “being transformed into ideology”.
He said: “So, we had to react with clear norms that put a limit to those who had not lived that experience. Because it seemed to be fashionable in some places that young priests would say, “Oh, no, I want...” and maybe they don’t know Latin, they don’t know what it means.”