An official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said speculating on who would be the next Pope is extremely premature at this moment.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, CBCP Public Affairs Commission executive secretary, said this amid talks of Pope Francis' possible resignation.
"Pope Francis continues to be at the helm of the papacy and shows no indication of cutting short his tenure," he said in an interview Thursday, August 11.
"All this talk about his possible resignation is basically just a media narrative meant to politicize an otherwise sacred election called the conclave," Secillano added.
He asked everyone to continue to pray for the pontiff.
"Let's just pray for Pope Francis and all his collaborators that they may stir the Catholic Church in the right direction as the church continues to face scrutiny and challenges at the moment," said Secillano.
Earlier, a London-based monthly newspaper identified Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő as frontrunners to become the next Pope.