TALE OF TWO POPES: INTRIGUE AND RUMORS SWIRL AT THE VATICAN

Pope Benedict sparks ‘fears for future of Church’ as concerns over Francis’ health emergePOPE BENEDICT will spark concerns about the survival of the Catholic Church itself, a worried expert has claimed, as fears grow about Pope Francis’ health. BY Clive Hammond

Some interesting palace, or in this case Vatican intrigue.. The British press is doing its best at furnishing the world inside gossip about the state of the Papacy..

Francis was forced to cancel three events at short notice over the weekend, after his ongoing issues with sciatica struck the 84-year-old again. Matteo Bruni, a spokesman for the Vatican, confirmed that due to the return of his condition he would not deliver Mass on Sunday, as well as attend a meeting with diplomatic corps on Monday, which has now been rearranged. This is the latest in a string of cancelled appointments he has made due to the condition, which affects the back and legs, after he skipped New Year’s Day Mass.

And this:

His health has become a concern for insiders, including Vatican author Lynda Telford, who said she was fearful for the future of the Church if Francis stood down.

And the writer told Express.co.uk that the Vatican will struggle to maintain order if someone similar to Francis’ predecessor, Benedict, took over.

Ms Telford argues that Benedict’s traditionalist views “put off” those with a more modern mindset who could be tempted to join the Catholic Church.

So that leaves us with the question .. if anything written above is actually true and not just tabloid speculation, what would happen if Francis had to step down?

First order of business: What happens to the prophecy of the popes that seems to indicate Francis is “Peter the Roman.” And “the end” comes after, whatever the end may mean..

And second..could Benedict polish up his red shoes and become Pope all over again?

Two amazing questions that have no answers, just experts who theorize on them.

There has been tension for several years over the strange papal arrangement, as illustrated in this 2020 AP article:

Ever since Benedict XVI announced he would become the first pope in 600 years to resign, Catholic theologians, canon lawyers and others warned of the potential confusion in having two popes living side by side in the Vatican, one reigning, the other retired but calling himself “emeritus pope” and still wearing the white cassock of the papacy.

Their worst fears came true this week.

In a saga befitting the Oscar-nominated movie “The Two Popes,” Benedict co-wrote a book reaffirming the “necessity” of a celibate priesthood. There was nothing novel with his position, but the book is coming out at the same time Pope Francis is weighing whether to ordain married men in the Amazon because of a priest shortage there.

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