Pope Francis shock: 'No doubt he will resign in 2020' claim revealed amid slap video row

Yesterday, the Pope found himself at the centre of controversy as footage emerged of him greeting pilgrims at the Vatican. The 83-year-old lost his cool when an unknown woman grabbed and yanked him towards her just after he reached out to greet a young child, provoking him to slap her hand several times. During his Angelus address to a packed St Peter’s Square on New Year’s Day, the pontiff referred to his actions, saying: “I apologise for the bad example yesterday, sometimes even I lose patience.”

Following the heated exchanged, there were numerous calls on social media that the Pope should resign for his behaviour and unearthed footage shows they may get their wish.

One tweet read: “I think what the Pope did was horrible, he should resign.”

Another added: “This is his pure impotence, the Pope should resign having repented.”

A third claimed: “No pope should ever react like this, he should resign.”

Austen Ivereigh, the former Director for Public Affairs of the previous Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, went one step further in 2013.

He said: “I don’t think there’s ever been any doubt that he will resign in 2020.

“He made clear from the beginning that he regarded Pope Benedict’s (XVI) act as a prophetic act of great modesty and he would have absolutely no problem in doing the same.

“What was interesting was he said to Mexican television in 2014 that he believed that he would have a short papacy of about five years.

“Now, given that he was elected in March 2013, then in 2017 he would have considered stepping down if nature hadn’t intervened. 

READ MORE: Why Pope Francis' plan for 2020 is ‘straight out Book of Revelations’

“Some of his opponents are waiting for him to go and they will be encouraged by this.

“At the age of 79, we are talking here about him stepping down in his Eighties, in the year 2020, there aren’t many men, frankly, who are capable physically, let alone mentally, of leading a massive institution with all the demands that the papacy brings.”

If true though, Pope Francis would be only the second Vatican leader to do so in 600 years, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2013.

The move was unexpected, given that popes in the modern era have held the position from election until death. 

However, Benedict stated that the reason for his decision was his declining health due to old age.

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