Pope Francis said that he continues to visit retired Pope Benedict XVI, 92, who is like a grandfather who continues to encourage him and give him strength.
“I take his hand and let him speak. He speaks little, at his own pace, but with the same profoundness as always. Benedict’s problem are his knees, not his mind. He has a great lucidity,” the pope told journalists on 2nd June on his return flight from Romania. The pope spent about 35 minutes with reporters on the short flight, answering five questions.
When asked about his relationship with this predecessor, the pope said his conversations with Pope Benedict make him stronger and he compared the knowledge he receives from his predecessor as the sap “from the roots that help me to go forward.
“When I hear him speak, I become strong,” he explained. “I feel this tradition of the Church. The tradition of the Church is not a museum. No, tradition is like the roots that give you the sap in order to grow. You won’t become the root; you will grow and bear fruit and the seed will be root for others.”
Picture: Archive photo from 2016 of Pope Francis with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Vatican. (ABACA/PA).