"It's a decisive move, a move that reaches the heart; it's also a move that shows us the pathway for every bishop when it's time to take his leave and step down", Francis said of Paul's decision to leave the Ephesian church, according to Vatican News.
"I think of me as well, because I am a bishop and I must take my leave", he continued.
Pope Francis has said retired Pope Benedict XVI "opened a door" to future popes by resigning. While the 81-year-old Francis has said he didn't envisage a long papacy, he hasn't said explicitly if he'd follow in Benedict's footsteps and retire.
Celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae May 15, the same day he was to meet with the bishops of Chile to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal, Pope Francis focused his homily on the first reading, Acts 20:17-27, in which the apostle Paul takes his leave of Ephesus. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.
Visiting Chile in January, Francis initially dismissed as "slander" victims' allegations that several local bishops covered up the crimes of Father Fernando Karadima, whom the Vatican found guilty of molesting children in 2011.
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As far as I am concern, I admit, and I want you to convey it faithfully, that I have made serious mistakes of assessment and perception on the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information, he underlined.
"I think about the bishops, of all the bishops", he said. "If he asks, we'll do it", he said.
Representatives of the Chilean bishops conference told reporters they were heading into three days of meetings with Pope Francis humbled, pained and shamed for their own errors in handling abuse cases.
The objective of the meeting, according to the Press Office of the Vatican, is to analyze the causes and consequences of the sexual abuses, of power, and of consciousness in Chile over the past few decades, as well as the mechanisms that led, in some cases, to covering up and serious omissions of the victims.