Munich (dpa / lby) – State Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm called the day of the funeral service for Benedict XVI. a “very special day” in Rome. “We say goodbye to a person who has shaped the Catholic Church for a long time,” said Bedford-Strohm on Thursday. He traveled to the celebrations with a delegation from Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU).

There have been ups and downs in relation to the evangelical church. “I have always experienced him as a person who was passionately interested in dialogue, including with the Protestant Church, and who is personally very open.” He wishes more steps towards unity of the church.

If you put the terms love and truth, which are particularly important for both Benedict and Francis, side by side, then Benedict’s emphasis is more on truth and Francis’ emphasis on love, according to Bedford-Strohm’s assessment.

Pope Francis will arrange the funeral service for his predecessor Emeritus Benedict.