It all started in 1970, when Joseph Ratzinger met with his doctoral students to share ideas and discussion on theology. It's something that has continued almost every year. This meeting will mark the 36th edition and they have planned to discuss the Catholic Church's relations with Anglicans and Protestants.
This year's participants includes Cardinal Christoph Schönborn from Vienna. The Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch who serves as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. As well as the German Cardinal Walter Kasper, a former president of that same countil, he's someone that brings an intimate knowledge of the Lutheran faith to the meeting.
The list also includes non-Catholics. The Protestant Ulrich Wilckens is a former student who studied under Ratzinger at the University of Regensburg but went on to become a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The meeting with former students is one of Joseph Ratzinger's few traditions that he has continued to carry out during his time as pope. It's something that the participants look forward to almost every year as they look back on the many moments they have shared over the years.