style[amp-boilerplate] Easter fever: Pope says he might die before 2019
TIME

Easter fever: Pope says he might die before 2019

60 secs Minimum - 8 mins Maximum Read
- Pope Francis has stirred fear that he might be dead before 2019



- Francis referred to his own mortality twice in the span of a few

minutes at a vigil which held on Saturday, April 8



- The Pope says he might not be able to attend the Catholic Church's

World Youth Day will be held in Panama in 2019



Pope Francis has voiced doubts that he may not be around by 2019,

stirring fears over his mortality.





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Speaking on Saturday at a vigil service to rally enthusiasm for the

Catholic Church's World Youth Day, the Pope urged young people to lead

the church's future.



As reported by the Associated Press, the 80year-old Pope referred to

his own mortality twice in the span of a few minutes at the vigil.

The Catholic Church's World Youth Day will be held in Panama in 2019.







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"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."



The Pope 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.



At the same time, there's nothing indicating that Pope Francis is slowing down.



Later this month, he begins the first of his 2017 foreign travels that

are expected to bring him to Egypt, Portugal, Colombia, India,

Bangladesh and perhaps South Sudan.





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He is also gearing up for the next big meeting of the world's bishops

later this year, dedicated to young people.



The Vatican has solicited direct input from young people to inform its

work and participate in the synod.



Pope Francis took that request further on Saturday, saying he wanted

to involve not just dedicated Catholics but all young people, atheists

included.



"The future is in your hands," he said.

Pope Francis has opened a free launderette

for homeless people in Rome.



Washing machines and detergent, tumble dryers and irons have been

provided for the project which the Vatican said will "restore dignity"

to people who are unable to pay for the service.



Showers, a barber shop and a medical centre will be added in the

coming months. Free clothes will also be offered.
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