Pope Francis urged young people to lead the church’s future Saturday, even as he voiced doubts that he’d be around much longer to see it. The 80-year-old pope referred to his own mortality twice in the span of a few minutes during a vigil service to rally enthusiasm for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, to be held in Panama in 2019. “I don’t know if it will be me, but the pope will be in Panama!” he told the crowd gathered at the St. Mary Major basilica. A few minutes earlier, he drew gasps from the pews when he teased: “At my age, we (old people) are about to pass away.” Sensing their pained reaction, he added: “Who guarantees life? No one. At your age, you have the future ahead of you.” Francis is known for his casual, self-deprecating remarks and has said repeatedly he didn’t expect to be pope for very long. Early on in his four-year papacy he predicted two to five years would do it. He has also not ruled out the possibility of resigning like his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, did. (READ MORE)
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