Plans Revealed for Benedict XVI Foundation Launch

Featured Event to Be Lecture on Pope’s Theology

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, NOV. 7, 2008 ( This month’s launch of a foundation to promote the thought of Benedict XVI will feature a lecture on the main elements of the Pope’s theological writings.

A group of Joseph Ratzinger’s former doctoral and postdoctoral students, known as the Schülerkreis (Circle of Students), will gather Nov. 12 in Munich for the first event of the Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI Foundation.

According to a press release sent out by Divine Word Missionary Father Vincent Twomey, a member of the circle, a press conference will be held at midday to explain the foundation’s origins and goals.

The official launching ceremony will begin with sung vespers in the chapel of the Catholic Academy in the evening, with the main event to place afterward in the academy’s auditorium.

Professor Siegfried Wiedenhofer, one of Ratzinger’s former assistants, will deliver a paper entitled “Key Issues in the Theology of Professor Dr. Joseph Ratzinger.” This will be followed by a podium discussion on “Ratzinger as Theologian and Teacher.”

Contributors to the podium discussion, which will also be open to the floor, include Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the archbishop of Vienna; Auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke of Hamburg, Germany; Father Twomey; and Michaela Hastetter.

Father Twomey said the plans for the foundation had been «long considered.» He added that last August, during a meeting of the circle at Castle Gandolfo, members saw «the time was ripe to realize» the project.

He said the foundation will promote «the study of theology ‘in the spirit of Joseph Ratzinger,’ with a special emphasis on Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, and fundamental theology, as well as encouraging the study of his own original contribution to theology.»

The chairman of the Board of Trustees is Monsignor Michael Hofmann. The president of the foundation is the Salvatorian Father Stephan Otto Horn, one of Ratzinger’s assistants in Regensburg.

The Board of Regents is under the chairmanship of Cardinal Schönborn.

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