The Ratzinger Prize award ceremony was hosted by a familiar face in the Vatican: former spokesman Federico Lombardi.
The winners of this year's 'Theology Nobelâ? were Ioannis Kourempeles and Innos Biffi, who seized the moment to give the pope a present.
'It is a ring. St. Matthew.â?
Pope Francis wanted to give out the awards in person. In his speech he did not spare words of appraisal for his predecessor.
'It is an occasion for me to express once more, our great affection and recognition to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who joins us today with his prayer.â?
This award recognizes the career and the theological contributions of thinkers of our time, non-Catholics included. In fact, Ioannis Kourempeles is an Orthodox, the first to be awarded this prize since it started in 2011.