- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pope Francis publicly addressed the specter of his own death for the first time, giving himself “two or three years” while seriously mulling the possibility of retirement.

Francis, 77, said Monday during a press conference aboard his jet as he traveled home from South Korea that he’s likely to meet his maker soon — very soon.

“I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time,” he said, Agence France-Presse reported. “Two or three years and then I’ll be off to the Father’s House.”

The pope’s not spoken so publicly about his own death before. But Vatican insiders say they’re not so surprised. Privately, Francis has told his closest advisers and friends that he doesn’t think he’s going to live much longer, AFP reported.

He also disclosed that he has “some nerve problems” that require medical attention, and that he would seriously consider stepping aside from the papacy if his health issues became too great to bear, the news outlet reported.

“Must treat them well, these nerves, give them mate [an Argentine tea] every day,” he joked to reporters. “One of these neuroses is that I’m too much of a homebody.”



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