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Pope Francis confers 2013 Ratzinger Prize for Theology

October 26, 2013 - Pope Francis on Saturday conferred the 2013 Ratzinger Prize for Theology on an British Biblical scholar and a German theologian. In a ceremony in the Vatican, the Pope honoured Anglican Dean of King's College, London, Rev. Richard A. Burridge, and German theologian Christian Schaller with the prize, that includes a cheque worth $70,000 to help them continue their studies and investigations. The theology prize and conference, along with scholarships, are funded by the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation, which Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI established in 2010 using royalties from the sale of his books. Commenting on the prize, named after his predecessor, retired Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis said his three books on ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ are truly singular gifts to the Church. He said his predecessor used to writing books on theology and encyclicals, followed the voice of the Lord in his illumined conscience. His trilogy is neither magisterium, strictly speaking, nor a scholarly study. “He has gifted the Church and to all the people the most precious thing he had – his knowledge of Jesus, which is the fruit of years and years of study, prayer and theological evaluation, and has made it available in a very accessible form. No one can measure how much good he has done with this gift, Pope Francis said, adding only the Lord know it. “Many have nourished and deepened their faith, and even have approached Christ for the first time as adults, using reason in the search for the face of God,” Pope Francis added. Rev. Burridge, a professor of New Testament studies, is the first non-Catholic to receive the prize. Schaller is vice director of the Benedict XVI Institute in Regensburg, Germany, which is publishing critical editions of the pope’s writings. The prize is given to “distinguished scholars in certain areas of theological knowledge”. (Source: Vatican)


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