Pope Francis marked his second anniversary of his election on Friday by giving an interview in which he says he expects his time at the Vatican to only last for another two or three years.
“I have a feeling my pontificate will be brief,” the 78-year-old told Mexico’s Televisa channel.
“Four or five years, I don’t know. Two years have already gone by.
“It is a vague feeling I have that the Lord chose me for a short mission. I am always open to that possibility.”
The first pope from Latin America has hinted in the past that he could retire, emulating his predecessor Benedict XVI, who became the first pope to resign in seven centuries when he stepped down in February 2013.
Francis said Benedict had “opened an institutional door” but stopped short of repeating previous hints he could also resign, which drew criticism from some conservative theologians.
“The idea of fixing an age limit of 80 is not one I like very much,” he said, arguing that it would create lame-duck pontiffs.