Pope Francis says he may need to cut back his amount of travelling or retire
"It's not a catastrophe. You can change the pope."
Pope Francis has said he may need to cut back in terms of his level of travelling or else retire, according to reports.
Multiple outlets state that the pontiff made the comments while in Canada as part of a six-day trip.
In recent months, the 85-year-old has begun using a wheelchair while out in public due to knee pain.
"I don't think I can continue doing trips with the same rhythm as before," Pope Francis is quoted as saying.
"I think that at my age and with this limitation I have to preserve myself a bit in order to be able to serve the Church or decide to step aside."
On the latter option, the Pope is reported as stating that this would not be "strange" or a "catastrophe", adding: "You can change the pope."
"The door is open. It is one of the normal options. Up until today, I did not use that door. I did not think it was necessary to think of this possibility but that does not mean that the day after tomorrow I don't start thinking about it," he also said.
"This trip was a bit of a test. It is true that I can't make trips in this condition. Maybe the style has to change, make fewer trips, make the trips I have promised to make, re-jig things.
"But it will be the Lord who decides. The door is open."
In 2013, Pope Francis' predecessor Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly announced his resignation, citing a lack of strength due to his advanced age.
In doing so, the pontiff became the first to resign in almost 600 years.