Some very bad news regarding Pope Francis has just come in that will be devastating for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

“Pope Francis is dying,” the secretary of one of the Vatican’s most powerful cardinals reportedly told Newsmax.

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The Pope is now 84 years of age, and rumors have swirled for quite some time that he is not in the best of health. Last year, he spent days in a hospital in Rome recovering from surgery of the colon to manage diverticulitis, a disorder that impacts the colon wall. While nothing like cancer was ever confirmed, many suspected that there was more to the reasoning behind the Pope’s lengthy hospital stay than was revealed to the public.

The Vatical cardinal secretary went on to say that he and many other insiders do not believe the Pope will survive 2022. Officials at the Vatican are reportedly so concerned that they are in “pre-Conclave mode” and preparing for what they will do after the Pope passes.

As for who will replace Francis, the secretary claimed that the current favorite is Cardinal Peter Erdo of Hungary. Erdo, who speaks seven language, is seen as a church centrist who also has respect for traditionalists.

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Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state who had been seen as the frontrunner to be the next pope for years, has been removed from consideration because of a “bad” deal that he made with Beijing. Insiders are furious about this deal because it gave too much control of the Chinese Roman Church to the communists.

Thankfully, Catholics should not expect another liberal like Francis to be the next Pope. Though Francis picked many new Cardinals “from the periphery,” these figures are considered quite conservative.

Many are curious to see how these Cardinals interact in the next Conclave, as Francis has chosen not to have the traditional church meetings among the Cardinals. Francis is rumored to be worried that calling these meetings would give his naysayers time to organize, but it seems that the next Conclave may be out of his control.

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“It’s been Francis’ strategy from the beginning to keep everyone distant and separate,” one Cardinal said.