Pope mentions retirement, but Chaput expects him to be around ‘a long time’

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 Pope Francis blows a candle on a birthday cake he was presented by a group of youths of the Catholic Action he received during a private audience at the Vatican Thursday. Pope Francis entered his 80th year on Thursday amid hopes among his critics that it will be his last — at least as pope. (L'Osservatore Romano/pool photo via AP)

Pope Francis blows a candle on a birthday cake he was presented by a group of youths of the Catholic Action he received during a private audience at the Vatican Thursday. Pope Francis entered his 80th year on Thursday amid hopes among his critics that it will be his last — at least as pope. (L'Osservatore Romano/pool photo via AP)

Pope Francis turned 79 this week and even chatted with one reporter about retiring in a few years.

But one Catholic official said he doesn’t see the pope slowing down.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said Pope Francis doesn’t look or act his age.

“It’s amazing how much energy he has. When he was here in September, I was very conscious of the fact that this man is about eight years older than I am and has more energy than I do,” said Chaput. “I suspect he’s going to be around a long, long time.”

Chaput pointed to the pope’s world travels as an indication that he’s not slowing down, but in an interview with a Mexican broadcaster, Pope Francis talked about retiring in three or four years, and his desire to once again do things that normal folks do.

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