The director of Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture said in this AP article that the pope’s recent hospitalizations have raised questions about his ability to continue the globetrotting rigors of the modern-day papacy.

“It’s a great improvement from the time when the pope was just a king in his throne surrounded by a royal court,” he said. “But with such expectations can any pope govern into his 80s and even 90s and be effective?”

“The effort to change the rigidly top-down nature of governance in Catholicism is the main reform project of the Francis papacy and its success or failure will likely be his chief legacy,” said Fordham’s Gibson. He said the jury was still out on whether it would succeed, since the transition period is “messy and absolutely exhausting.” 

“Will the sense of exhaustion overcome the inspiration that invigorates so many?” he asked.


Jane Martinez is director of media relations and deputy University spokesperson at Fordham. She can be reached at [email protected] or (347) 992-1815.