Ratzinger Students to Discuss Mission, Religions

Will Meet With Former Teacher at Castel Gandolfo

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Mission and dialogue with other religions and cultures is the theme of this year’s meeting of the “Ratzinger Schulerkreis.” Participants will meet with Benedict XVI for a question-and-answer session on the final day of the meeting.

The 30-some students will gather Aug. 28-30 for their annual event, which has been going on since 1971, long before their theology professor was elected Pope.

Since 2005, when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to the Chair of Peter, the group has continued meeting, discussing topics such as Islam and evolution. Last year, they considered the historical Jesus and his passion.

For 2009, the Ratzinger Schulerkreis will consider two main presentations.

Peter Beyerhaus, a Protestant theologian and retired professor of the University of Tubingen, will share the conclusions of a life of research centered on ecumenical theology. He will focus on the topic “Mission Ad Gentes: Its Justification and Present Form.”
Heinz Burkle, a retired professor of the University of Munich, and a former Protestant theologian who converted to Catholicism at the end of the ’80s, will consider “The Church and Her Mission in Dialogue With Men and Various Religions and Cultures.”
After the talks, there is time for questions and comments, with the presence of the Holy Father.

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