Før pave Bendikt reiser til Tyskland til Verdensungdomsdagene denne uken spekuleres det litt om hvordan hans forhold til den lutherske kirke er og vil bli. John Allen skriver om dette i siste utgave av Word from Rome, og nevner bl.a. fra fullførelsen av rettferdiggjørelses-dokumentet (noen sier at Ratzinger var den som skapte problemene, mens andre sier som her at det var han som berdet avtalen):
Later, Ratzinger played a key role in rescuing an agreement with the Lutheran World Federation on the doctrine of justification. It was announced to much fanfare in June 1998, then seemingly unraveled, and rolled out again in June 1999. The heart of the agreement was this sentence: “By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping us and calling us to good works.”
When the agreement seemed to founder, German media reported that Ratzinger had torpedoed it. On July 14, 1998, Ratzinger published a letter in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine calling those reports a smooth
lie.” He said that to scuttle the dialogue would be to “deny myself.” On November 3, 1998, a special ad hoc working group met at the home of Ratzinger’s brother Georg in Regensburg, Bavaria, to get the agreement back on track. Lutheran Bishop Johannes Hanselmann convened the group, which consisted of Hanselmann, Ratzinger, Catholic theologian Heinz Schuette and Lutheran theologian Joachim Track.