Pope presents Ratzinger Prize to Professor Marianne Schlosser and Architect Mario Botta

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Pope Francis awarded the Ratzinger Prize to Professor Marianne Schlosser and Architect Mario Botta. It is a prize awarded to individuals for their work in theology and the sciences by the Vatican. 

German Professor Schlosser is one of the five women who work on the International Theological Commission. This commission advises the pope. 

During the ceremony, Pope Francis noted the importance of recognizing more women's achievements, especially in theology.  


“It is very important that the contribution of women to the scientific field of theological research and that of the teaching of theology — for so long considered almost exclusive territories of the clergy — be recognized more and more.”

He encouraged further female participation and presence in 'various fields of responsibility for the life of the Church.'

Swiss Architect Mario Botta has been awarded for his research in religious space. Pope Francis in praising him for his work, stressed the great importance of architecture in communicating the faith. 


“The commitment of the architect, creator of sacred space in the city of men, is therefore of highest value, and must be recognized and encouraged by the Church, especially when we risk the oblivion of the spiritual dimension and the dehumanization of urban spaces.”

The Ratzinger Prize is named after pope emeritus, Benedict XVI. Pope Francis expressed his great affection for his predecessor and the importance for people to study his works.  

He concluded the ceremony in quoting part of Benedict XVI's address in Bagnoregio in 2009. The pope said whoever hopes 'must lift his head, turning his thoughts aloft, to the heights of our existence, namely to God.'

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