Pope Francis has already signed a letter of resignation in case of illness.

In a new interview, Pope Francis revealed that he has already signed his resignation letter, which will be used if he becomes "impaired."

Francis remarked in a Sunday interview with the Spanish news outlet ABC when asked what would happen if a pope could not perform his duties due to health issues or an accident.

In the interview, published Sunday, Francis said he gave Bertone his signed letter of resignation, saying, "If I should become impaired for medical reasons or whatever, here is my renunciation. 

Francis said he wrote the letter several years ago and gave it to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, then-Vatican Secretary of State, who resigned in 2013.

"Someone will run up to Bertone (saying), 'Give me that piece of paper,'" the pontiff joked after revealing the existence of his resignation note.

Francis stated that he was confident Bertone would have forwarded the letter to the current secretary of state, Parolin.

In previous remarks, Francis praised his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, for resigning because he felt he would be unable to carry out his duties due to his advanced age.

Benedict, who lives in a monastery on the Vatican grounds, was the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, paving the way for Francis' election as the first pope from South America.

It was the first time a pope had resigned in nearly 600 years.

Gregory XII, the last pope to resign before his death, left in 1415 to end a church civil war in which more than one man claimed to be the pope.