Pablo Blanco Sarto and Francesc Torralba, Winners of the Ratzinger Prize 2023 Photo: Vatican News

Two Spaniards Awarded the “Nobel” of Theology: The 2023 Ratzinger Prize

The Prize has been awarded annually since 2011, each time to two or three scholars. With the 2023 edition, there is now a total of 28 laureates

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 03.11.2023).- On November 30, in the Regia Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, His Holiness’ Secretary of State, will award the 2023 Ratzinger Prize to Professors Pablo Blanco Sarto and Francesc Torralba Roselló. The ceremony will begin at 05:00 pm during which there will be a reflection on the legacy of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI almost a year after his death.

A Mass will be celebrated at 8:15 am in the Vatican Grottoes in memory of Benedict XVI. The previous day, November 29, at 05:00 pm, a Study Conference will be held in English at the Pontifical Gregorian University, on “The Legacy of Benedict XVI.”

Pablo Blanco Sarto was born in Zaragoza, Spain, on July 12, 1964. After completing his Theology Studies at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, he obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy on the thought of Luigi Pareyson (1918-1991). He was ordained a priest on September 21, 1997 and in 2005 finished his Doctorate on Dogmatic Theology at the  University of Navarre, with a study on Joseph Ratzinger’s Fundamental Theology and Religions. At present, he i Titular Professor at the University of Navarre. He collaborates with the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI of Regensburg, Germany, and with numerous Spanish and Latin American academic institutions. He is part of the Editorial Council in  Spanish of Joseph Ratzinger’s Opera Omnia in the BAC. He is the author of numerous studies and volumes on the life, thought and work of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI.

Francesc Torralba Roselló is a philosopher and theologian. Born in Barcelona on May 15, 1967, he is married and the father of five children. He has a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona (1992), in Theology from the Faculty of Theology of Cataluña (1997), in Pedagogy from the Ramon Llull University (2018), and in History , Archaeology and Christian Arts from the Sant Pacià University Athenaeum, Antony Gaudi Faculty (2022). At present he is accredited Professor of the Ramon Llull University. He writes and publishes his thought on Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics. As a prolific author, he has published more than 1,800 articles and over 100 books.

About the Ratzinger Prize

 The Ratzinger Prize is the main initiative of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation. According to its statutes, the Prize is awarded to “scholars distinguished for their particular merits in publication and/or scientific research. In recent years, the ambit of laureates has been broadened to include arts of Christian inspiration.

Candidates for the Prize are proposed to the Holy Father for its approval by the Foundation’s Scientific Committee, made up of five members appointed by the Pope. Today, the Scientific Committee includes Cardinals Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity; Luis Ladaria, Prefect Emeritus of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith; Gianfranco Ravasi, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Monsignor Salvatore Fisichella, President Emeritus of the New Evangelization Council, and Monsignor Rudolf Voderholz, Bishop of Regensburg and President of the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI.

The Prize has been awarded annually since 2011 to two or three scholars. With the 2023 edition, there is now a total of 28 laureates.

The personalities awarded to date are primarily scholars of Dogmatic or Fundamental Theology, Sacred Scripture, Patristics, Philosophy , and eminent music and architecture artists. Confirming the global cultural horizon, the recipients come from no less than 16 different countries: Germany (7), France (4), Spain (3), Italy (2), Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, the United States, Estonia, Greece, England, Lebanon, Poland, South Africa and Switzerland.

The laureates are not only Catholics but also belong to other Christian Confessions: an Anglican, a Lutheran, two Orthodox and a Jew.

Other Activities of the Foundation: International Study Conferences

 The 11th International Conference promoted by the Foundation, planned at Beirut’s Notre Dame University of Louaizé on November 9-10, on the occasion of the 10thanniversary of Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, and of his last international journey to Lebanon, had to be postponed due to the international geopolitical situation after the conflict in that region.

The “Open Reason” Prize, in collaboration with Madrid’s Francisco de Vitoria University, reached its sixth edition in 2023. The award ceremony was held in the Vatican on October 17. The “Ratio et Spes” Prize in collaboration with the Nicholas Copernicus University of Torun, Poland, reached its fourth edition in 2023. The award ceremony took place on February 19 in Torun. The objective of both Prizes is to promote dialogue between different scientific disciplines and Philosophy and Theology. Every year the Foundation grants four bursaries to especially meritorious students studying for doctorates in Theology, Patristics and Sacred Scripture.

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