VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope John Paul II has scotched rumours that he might one day resign.
He said the prayers of millions of people give him strength even when he is suffering.
‘Every day I experience that my ministry is sustained by the unceasing prayer of the people of God, of many people who are unknown to me, but very close to my heart, who offer the Lord their prayers and sacrifices for the intentions of the Pope,’ he said on June 30 during his midday Angelus address.
‘At the moments of greater difficulty and suffering, this spiritual force is a valid help and an intimate comfort,’ he said.
The 82 year-old Pope, who seemed to have trouble catching his breath at times during the short greetings to pilgrims, said, ‘I always need your prayers, dear faithful of Rome and of the whole world’.
For more than a month, newspapers have reported cardinals and others who claim to be close to the Pope debating whether he would resign for the good of the Church if his health deteriorated further or whether he believed the decision on who should lead the Church rests entirely in God’s hands.