Francis praises Benedict XVI: “infallible love for the Truth

On the occasion of the presentation of the Ratzinger Prize for 2021, Pope Francis addressed a speech in which he praised the personality and the Pontificate of Benedict XVI

Newsroom (15/11/2021 15:50, Gaudium Press) The Ratzinger Prize ceremony for 2021 took place on the 13 November. Pope Francis presented the prize to this year’s laureates: the philosopher Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz and the exegete Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger.

Earlier, however, the 2020 laureates, French philosopher Jean-Luc Marion and Australian theologian Tracey Rowland, were also presented with their awards.

The ceremony was held in the Sala San Clemente of the Apostolic Palace. After a brief presentation of the laureates and their respective works, Pope Francis presented the awards.

Immediately afterwards, Francis took the floor and addressed a speech to the participants, in which he first thanked everyone for their presence.

He then spoke about the importance of the Ratzinger prize, which annually recognises the cultural merit of some scholars and artists, and which “establishes a bond, a fruitful relationship for the presence and service of the Church in the world of culture.

The Pontiff also pointed out that with the awarding of the prize to the Australian theologian Tracey Rowland, the Ratzinger prize has already been given to personalities from the five continents.

Francis evoked the work of contemporary philosophers and theologians whose thoughts are still present today, such as Guardini, Lubac, Edith Stein and Paul Ricoeur, among others.

Speech of thanks and praise to Benedict XVI

In addition to these personalities, Pope Francis added to the list the name of Joseph Ratzinger himself, “a theologian who was able to open and nourish his reflection and his cultural dialogue in all these directions together, because faith and the Church live in our time and are friends of every search for truth,” he said.

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Recalling the 70th anniversary of Benedict XVI’s priestly ordination, Francis took the opportunity to send “an affectionate thought, grateful and full of admiration.” He added by explaining that Benedict XVI “accompanies us with prayer, keeping his gaze continually turned towards God’s horizon. It is enough to look at him to perceive this,” Francis said.

The Holy Father took the opportunity to thank Benedict XVI for his commitment to study: “We thank him in particular because he was also an example of passionate dedication to study, to research, to written and oral communication; and because he always fully and harmoniously united his cultural research with his faith and his service to the Church.”

To exemplify this, Francis recalled that Benedict XVI continued to study and write until the end of his pontificate, leaving us a “personal testimony of his constant search for the face of the Lord.”

Francis explained that Benedict XVI’s motto “cooperatores veritatis” is actually the connecting thread of the different stages of his life and characterized Benedict XVI’s Pontificate as a “luminous magisterium and an unfailing love for the Truth.” (FM)

 

 

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