Do not cry for him Argentina, but Pope Francis hopes to die in Rome.
“I will not return to Argentina.” The 84-year-old pontiff told Argentine journalist and physician Nelson Castro, who is publishing a book Monday on the health of recent popes, that it dates back to Leo XIII, who led the world’s Roman Catholics from 1878 to 1903.
Pope Francis told Castro that he thinks about death, but when asked if he fears death, he replied, “Absolutely not,” according to America Magazine, a publication of the pope’s religious order, the Jesuits.
Francisco also told Castro that he hopes to die “in Rome, as pope or emeritus.” He also made it clear that he would be buried in the Eternal City and would not be buried again in Buenos Aires, where he spent most of his life.
The Pope has recently suffered attacks of sciatica that make it difficult for him to stand, causing some concern among the faithful. He skipped several services around New Years due to hip pain caused by the chronic condition.
Francis told Castro about his experience with the removal of cysts from the upper lobe of his right lung in 1957, when he was 21 years old. He said he “never felt any limitation” from that condition after his recovery from surgery, which some people falsely believe led to the removal of his entire lung.
He also spoke about his weekly visits with a psychologist during the 1970s, when he was talking about helping people escape the Argentine military dictatorship, and she helped him deal with the tensions and fears he experienced at the time. Sometimes he still suffers from what he called “neurotic anxiety,” which he deals with by listening to Bach or drinking “mate,” a popular Argentine herbal drink.
Francis, along with former Pope Benedict, received the COVID-19 vaccine in January.