During his Tuesday morning homily, Pope Francis reflected on his papacy and said he has thought about when it would come time to “take leave” of his flock.

The statements came during Pope Francis’ Tuesday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta residence. In his homily, he reflected on the day’s Gospel readings where the Apostle Paul “compelled by the Holy Spirit,” took his leave from the Church Elders at Ephesus to go travel to Jerusalem. Pope Francis expressed his hope that all bishops around the world follows Paul’s example of obedience to the Holy Spirit and love for his flock, and to discern when it is time to take leave of their own flock.

“I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me” – Acts 20:21-23

Pope Francis reflected that bishops should not consider their tenure as simply “advancing in an ecclesiastical career,” but instead be reminded to “take care of each other and of the entire flock.” In reflecting on Paul’s departure to Jerusalem in following the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis said he is reminded of himself as well, and when the time will come for him to take his own leave.

“When I read this, I think about myself, because I am a bishop and I must take my leave and step down.”

While the Vatican only released excerpts from the Mass, Pope Francis ended his homily saying all bishops are in his thoughts and prayers:

“May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way, like Paul, with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit.”

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  1. I hope the time is far into the distance when His Holiness decides to step down. God Bless you Pope Frances

  2. We need you dear pope. Please dont leave your flock. You are now in our hearts like a light lit in our souls because you lead us to Jesus. Many of us will feel sad if you go. Please don’t step down. If you don’t go I promise I’ll be a good follower of Jesus. I promise I will be a good Catholic.

  3. Yes he might step down but this will not be until he has created the One World Church and invited the Anti-Christ to sit at the Head. The AC will take his place in the Vatican because he will be invited to do so. You think this is far fetched? Just remember these words when it comes true and please do not accept the Anti-Christ as the wonderful man of peace and ‘man of god’ that he will be made out to be. He will deceive so many. Pray to know.

  4. I am a retired Minister of the Word and these very thoughts have been in my mind – should I take leave and … then what? I am getting old but there is so much to do …I prayed about this and decided to trust my Lord that He will tell me what to do. I am quite satisfied in preaching occasionally and teaching but … lets face it; I am too comfortable. And so I am waiting for my Lord to show me what to do – please God the Holy Spirit help me, amen

  5. I pray this Pope stays on till the Lord takes him home. Father Francis, you are exactly what this world needs and I wish more people would listen to you and follow your lead. In love, Mary Anne.

  6. Dear Pope Francis, you are a blessing to the Catholic world and to all mankind. May God bless you and keep you in His loving arms Your humility is a lesson to all. Thank you Father Francis.

  7. “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. ” REV 3:16

  8. I think is crucial for all human beings to take in consideration thy self sometime, being closer to God without a responsibility that will include the care for other’s is an important step to allow God to use us and teach us about the many unanswered questions as well doubts we might have with in our own self, about our selves and the purposes of being who we really are for HIM(God) and his Future plans which not only include the purposes of our Work but the Main purpose of our lives and dedication to HIM, and yet to our Work went we have reached the highest position posible we could have achieved at the service of others, and that is part of Living in the Material World where “Life is God Business” All my prayers and Love to Francis The Pope.

  9. Dear Pope Francis:
    At this time in our world of turmoil, I believe we must stand together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
    Divine Love can heal our hearts, and give perfect peace within.
    Please do not take leave as Pope, we need you to lead our Church.
    Thank you – God Bless you and protect you.

  10. Donna you should post positive stuff, and if any said Pope or world leader does usher in an Anti-Christ then is he not doing God’s Will? We all know what happens. Look at Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot. Look to His crucifixion. No one wanted it. The apostles were terrified and depressed. Peter even cut a mans ear off to defend Christ. Christ stopped him from doing worse. Christ HAD to die for our Sins. Just like the end/second coming as described in Revelations and other writings HAS TO HAPPEN? duh.
    Besides, through the Holy Trinity it’s all be planned and foretold. So stop being oddly paranoid and pray for good. Do you honestly think the devil/anti christ is Moreno powerful than Jesus Christ. No, I bet not. So pray for the Pope and all Christians. Stop with this anti christ nonsense. Perhaps mankind itself is the anti christ. You do not know. Stop with the doom and gloom. It’s Gods will whether you accept it or not.
    I know many, including myself, will pray for Pope Francis. You, Pope Francis, have done so much to bring many young adults and teenagers back to the Church. Don’t despair. Ignore the negatives for now. Pope Francis’s words may be prophetic too…
    If the time of Pope Francis’s death was revealed to him, If he must suffer like The Apostles or if he is killed “take leave of my flock.” then he is are made to be an amazing Pope, he is already great.
    As for us the Church, you never know how hard times can get. If he must step down he is doing God’s Will. The Pope always has a good reason. There were times when the Pope had to flee the Vatican as he would of been killed. Far worse times the Church has seen.
    Trust in the Will of God. No matter what actions a man may take, including the Pope, God’s Will, will always be done.

  11. Holy father, I bless the name of God for guiding your footsteps. The church needs you now more than ever, consider the flock of our lord Jesus Christ both Catholics and non-Catholics, do not bother at all when to step down feed the lamb, tend the flock. The whole humanity looks upon you for instruction and that she may be blessed.

  12. This is not the time Holy Father to leave your flock. Holy Mother Church seems to be in turmoil over issues that are unclear and the flock is confused and events are going towards a dive. You need to lead strongly our prayers are going for you, dear Pope Francis, we love and need you.

  13. Our dear and Beloved Pontiff, hang on fervently onto your faith.
    Yes it’s not easy to be a leader and servant,but the Holy will guide you.
    We are always with you in prayers and the Almighty God is forever in charge of you and his Church.
    May God continue to guide and strengthen you. Amen!

  14. Our Holy Father remain our Holy Father, in imprisonment or hardship. The Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen him to lead the holy flock as He did with St Paul. There’s so much work to do!

  15. I believe that the Holy Father isn’t really thimking of stepping down. It is a reflection of his, stating the kind of spirit one must have when the time to leave, (for another mission, as he made Paul’s an example) will come. However, if he also meant to ‘leave’ as to really step down, as Pope Benedict did, still it has to be with the same spirit as Paul had. He is put importance on the kind of spirit a servant of God must have when the time come to leave. A spirit still with the strength and love for Jesus.

  16. Don’t kid yourself. He’s leading everybody on, trying to avoid being removed from office by cardinals concerned about his errors, confusion, and probably heresy.

    Someone who loves power never gives it up voluntarily.

  17. Lord have mercy on those who judge pope to be what they wanted him to be. my question is, who are you, if you don’t like and love pope Francis, go hike to the one you want. the church don’t need people like you. We don’t need you.

  18. It is good that we have this forum where we may voice our opinions. It is not good when some use the forum to deride and ridicule those who express a thought or opinion which differs from their own. To those who bring disdain or contempt into an open discussion, I wish to ask, Why do you feel the need to control what others say and think? Do you not have faith in our Lord and God to bring about his Divine will? Let us love and respect each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and leave judgement to God.


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