77-year-old pontiff jokes with reporters, says he will ‘soon be off the Father’s house.’
Pope Francis said on Tuesday that he has “two or three years” to live, “and then I’ll be off to the Father’s house.” Speaking to reporters on his way back from South Korea to the Vatican, the pope – who was said to be in a jovial mood – was asked about his popularity around the world.
“I see it as the generosity of the people of God,” he said, according to AFP. “I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I’ll be off to the Father’s house.”
The pope did not rule out resigning from his post, saying that a precedent has already been set when “Benedict XVI opened a door.”
Francis – formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina – was chosen last year to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.