- Pope Francis told reporters after his six-day trip to Canada that he may consider retirement.
- Pope Francis described his trip as a “test” of his health, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
- During his trip, the Pope made a speech about Native American boarding schools, calling them “genocide.”
Pope Francis may soon consider hanging up his papal hat.
The Pope, 85, told reporters Saturday on his trip home from Northern Canada that his recent six-day trip was a “test” of his health. He acknowledged he may have to slow down as a result of strain on his ligaments, which has resulted in him using walking aids and a wheelchair during his trip.
“I think at my age and with these limitations, I have to save [my energy] to be able to serve the church, or on the contrary, think about the possibility of stepping aside,” he said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
After reporters asked him if he considered resigning before, the Pope said he had not, but said the “door was open” for such a possibility, ABC reported.
“It’s not strange. It’s not a catastrophe,” Pope Francis told reporters. “You can change the Pope.”
Pope Francis’ trip to Canada began in Alberta and ended in Nunavut. A significant part of his trip involved addressing the church’s involvement in Canada’s legacy of using boarding schools to indoctrinate indigenous children.
In the late 19th century and much of the 20th century, religious institutions including the Catholic Church ran schools that took First Nation children from their homes and stripped them of their culture and language. Thousands of children have been found buried near the grounds of these schools.
Insider’s Kelsey Vlamis and Morgan Keith previously reported about American boarding schools similarly created to “kill” Native American culture.
While speaking to reporters on the Papal aircraft, Pope Francis told reporters the boarding school programs were “genocide.”
Indigenous communities and the Canadian government criticized the Pope’s previous apologies, saying they did not go far enough in naming the Catholic Church as directly responsible for the abuses committed at boarding schools, NPR reported.
The Holy See Press Office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.