Pope Francis’ recent health struggles, worsening mobility issues and canceled events have fueled rumors that the head of the Catholic Church is about to follow his predecessor into early retirement. Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected to the papacy in March 2013, after Pope Benedict XVI stepped down at age 85, becoming the first pontiff to do so since Gregory XII in 1415. Now, some Vatican observers believe that the 85-year-old Francis could become the second — although the pope’s adviser has brushed off the chatter. Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga slammed the retirement rumors as nothing more than “cheap soap opera,” according to Religious News Service. The Holy See so far has given no indications that the pontiff intends to give up the throne of St. Peter, rather than die in office — as has been the custom for the vast majority of the bishops of Rome. Still, speculations about a possible resignation have been swirling for months.