Pope Francis Expects Papacy of 4 or 5 Years

PHOTO: Pope Francis waves to the faithful in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, March 12, 2015.Andrew Medichini/AP Photo
Pope Francis waves to the faithful in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, March 12, 2015.

Two years to the day after he was elected to lead the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics, Pope Francis said today that he expects to have only a short papacy.

"I have the feeling that my Pontificate will be brief, 4 or 5 years; I do not know, even 2 or 3,” the 78-year-old pontiff told Mexican broadcaster Televisa.

“I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time, and nothing more,” he added, comparing the feeling to “a gambler who convinces himself he will lose so he won’t be disappointed. And if he wins, he’s happy.”

When asked if he liked being pope, Francis told the interviewer that he doesn’t mind, but that he also wouldn’t mind some degree of anonymity. “The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza," he said.

After two years at the helm of the Holy See, Pope Francis remains incredibly popular. Nine of 10 U.S. Catholics still have a favorable view of the Holy Father, according to the Associated Press.

Francis marked the second anniversary as pope by hearing confessions at the Vatican.