July 20, 2011. (Romereports.com)
It's a tradition that started well before Benedict XVI became pope. Every year, he holds a private meeting with his former students to discuss theology. This year, the theme will be “The New Evangelization.”
Before becoming pope, Joseph Ratzinger was an accomplished professor for roughly 26 years. He taught at several German universities and wrote more than 40 books during his academic career.
Since 1977, every summer he meets with a group of his former students. When he was elected pope in 2005, he decided to continue the tradition in Castel Gandolfo, a small town south of Rome, known for being his official summer residence.
In past years, the group has discussed Islam, the Passion of Christ, the role of religion and culture and the Second Vatican Council.
His students include dozens of university professors, priests, nuns and also lay people from different parts of the world, some of whom learned from Ratzinger well before he was appointed Archbishop of Munich.
The meeting will be held from August 26th to the 28th. On the last day, the pope plans to celebrate Mass with his former students.