Benedict theologically in tune with Francis, says professor

Popes in tune

A German professor who has known Pope Emeritus Benedict for more than 30 years believes he and his successor are on the same wavelength when it comes to theological thought, reports Vatican Insider.

Professor Manfred Lütz, a German psychologist, theologian, a friend, and colleague of Benedict XVI, has made a new and important contribution to the debate over the degree of continuity between the Francis and Benedict pontificates.

In a recent interview with the Catholic News Agency, Lütz said he still kept in touch with the Pope Emeritus and met with him recently.

Pope Benedict still considers himself in 'the service of St Peter, that he lives the service of St Peter in another way,' Lütz revealed. 'He's praying, and this is an important aspect, he said, of the service of St Peter.'

Benedict XVI was 'old physically' but  'mentally he was very good. He had a better memory than me!' Lütz said.

The professor added that the Pope Emeritus and Francis have a common vision on various aspects. For example they both believe the Church must not become worldly and must not be tempted by worldly power. 'Benedict said to us that he also has the impression that theologically he is very in the same line with Pope Francis,' Lütz said.

'If we look beyond certain self-referential continuity vs discontinuity debates – which focus on crosier models, shoe colour and other such details, forgetting that every new Pope’s arrival has been marked by both elements of continuity and discontinuity (if absolute continuity were the rule, the Pope should have gone to Galilee to be a fisherman) – we discover that the Pope and his predecessor have various points and visions in common.'

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