Pope Francis has said he will not live in the Vatican or return to his native Argentina when he retires.

He said he would like to find a church in Rome where he could continue his confession.

Speaking to Spanish-language broadcaster TelevisaUnivision, Francis, 85, denied he plans to retire anytime soon, but said “the door is open.”

Pope Benedict XVI retired in 2013becoming the first Pope to do so in 600 years.

Since then he lived in a monastery in the Vatican.

Francis said the Vatican needs to better regulate Benedict’s role as pope emeritus, but having him on hand has gone well.

Some cardinals and canons have questioned Benedict’s retirement decisions, including his decision to continue wearing the papacy’s white cassock.

Another point of contention was the refusal of the 95-year-old Benedict to return his birth name to Joseph Ratzinger.

Critics say the choice and Benedict’s continued presence in the Vatican embarrass Catholics and threaten the unity of the Church.

Traditionalists knew how to use Benedict as a conservative landmark when they were unhappy with Francis’ decisions, they say.

Francis described Benedict as a “holy and prudent man,” adding: “But in the future, things must be more defined, or things must be more clear.”

The Pope added: “I think he gets 10 points for taking the first step after so many centuries. It’s a miracle.”

Francis said he will also step down when the time is right and consider taking up residence in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which is the traditional seat of the bishop of Rome.

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He said he has an apartment in Buenos Aires where he can continue to confess in a nearby church and visit the sick in the hospital.

“That’s what I thought about Buenos Aires,” he said. “I think this scenario, if I live to retire – maybe I’ll die before … I’d like something like that.”

The Pope asked about abortion

In a wide-ranging interview, he was asked whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should continue to administer the sacraments.

He said abortion is a matter of conscience for elected officials to decide for themselves.

Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have sparked a heated debate over whether it is appropriate for them to criticize the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion rights, given that they are both Catholic.

The Catholic Church opposes abortion, but US bishops have chosen not to rebuke Mr Biden for supporting abortion rights.

“I leave it to his conscience and for him to talk to his bishop, his parish priest, his parish priest about this discrepancy,” the Pope said.

Ms. Pelosi’s bishop, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cardileone, has banned her from receiving Communion in his archdiocese, although she recently received communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.


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