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Pope says he’s thought about when it’s time to ‘take leave’

Pope Francis, flanked by Bishop Angelo De Donatis, delivers his speech during a meeting with the Roman diocese, at the Vatican Basilica of St. John at the Lateran, in Rome, Monday, May 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he has thought about when it might be time to “take leave” of his flock.

Francis made the comment during his morning homily Tuesday; the Vatican didn’t release the full text.

Francis was reflecting on St. Paul discerning when to leave his flock in the care of others, a decision Francis said all bishops must make.

He said: “When I read this, I think about myself, because I’m a bishop and I’ll have to take my leave.”

Francis has said retired Pope Benedict XVI “opened a door” to future popes by resigning. While the 81-year-old pope has said he didn’t envisage a long papacy, he hasn’t said explicitly if he’d retire.

Francis may have also been referring to Chilean bishops implicated in a sex abuse cover-up scandal.

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The Associated Press