Cardinal Schönborn Explains What Ratzinger Students Will Discuss

Ecumenism Will Be Theme, With Focus on Relations With Lutherans, Anglicans

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 30, 2012 ( This Friday the annual meeting of Benedict XVI’s former students will get under way. The meetings began more than 30 years ago, between the then-Professor Joseph Ratzinger and his students from the University of Regensburg.

One of those taking part is the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, and he spoke to Vatican Radio about it. The topic to be discussed this year at what is known as the “Ratzinger Summer School” is ecumenism.

In particular it will address relations between Catholics, Lutherans and Anglicans, with reference to a book entitled “Harvesting the fruits”, published in 2009 by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President-emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Lutheran Bishop Emeritus Ulrich Wilkens, a famous exegete, will discuss the development of ecumenism between Catholics and Lutherans, said Cardinal Schönborn. While the subject of the Anglicans will be addressed by Bishop Charles Morereau, the new bishop of Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg.

Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will also be present, and Cardinal Schönborn said that the fact that the Holy Father has chosen this theme for the meeting this year is a sign that the ecumenical question is of primary importance for him.

“With the Holy Father, we expect a dialogue in truth and charity: In the truth that does not conceal the drama of division among Christians in Europe and, as a consequence, all over the world, but also the great issue of what is the reform of the Church, a theme of utmost importance to the Holy Father,” Cardinal Schönborn told Vatican Radio.

“The Pope first and foremost is a man of reflection, what matters is the subject and the search for truth,” he said.

“I think that this climate of searching for the truth – the historical, and philosophical and theological truth – has remained unchanged, but there is also a hint of friendship,” Cardinal Schönborn said.

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