Did Pope Francis Just Hint At Retirement Again?

Pope Francis suggested he's open to retiring one day. Vatican observers have speculated his hectic schedule may be taking a toll on his health.

Did Pope Francis Just Hint At Retirement Again?
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​​It was another classic wisecrack from Pope Francis.​

On the plane ride back from his five-day-long South Korea trip, the pontiff made light of his own mortality, telling reporters: "Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's House." 

Jokes aside, Francis also made a more revealing comment — seemingly raising the possibility of retiring. In his words, Benedict had opened a door.

Benedict XVI — now pope emeritus — stunned the world when he became the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to retire. (Video via Channel 4

Could Francis — his wildly popular successor — do the same? (Video via Vatican)

Even though his recent retirement comment generated a lot headlines, it was far from the first time Francis suggested he might retire. 

He made this ambiguous comment to an Italian paper back in March, "Benedict is the first, and maybe there will be others. We don’t know." 

Fueling the retirement talk are concerns over the pope's health. (Via Vatican

When Francis abruptly canceled a string of masses without explanation, many papal observers wondered whether his hectic lifestyle was taking a toll on the 77-year-old.  

Several veteran Vatican correspondents have cited unnamed sources close to the pope who say Francis has been having trouble breathing and has gained some weight since taking office. 

The Vatican has downplayed the concerns, noting it's very normal for a pope to need rest.

This video contains images from Getty Images.