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Pope Francis thanks Benedict XVI for his teaching and example during Ratzinger Prize

Pope Francis chaired and presented this year's Ratzinger Prize to the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, and the African theologian, Paul Béré.

The person who opened the event was the president of the Ratzinger Foundation and an old acquaintance of the pope: Jesuit Federico Lombardi, the pope's spokesperson until 2016.

President, Foundation Joseph Ratzinger
“Holy Father, on behalf of all those present, I thank you deeply for having wanted to receive us this morning to personally deliver the new Ratzinger prizes to the two distinguished scholars present.”

Pope Francis presented the prizes to the winners. Charles Taylor has studied secularism and the relationship between religion and modernity. Paul Béré, on the other hand, is a great promoter of African theology.

Pope Francis' first words were addressed to his predecessor.

We are grateful to Benedict XVI for the teaching and the example he gave us in serving the Church, by reflecting, thinking, studying, listening, talking and praying.

Pope Francis reflected on the origins of the two winners. He recalled they came from very different countries and mentalities and this proves cultural origin is not an obstacle to knowing God.

Being and remaining in active dialogue with cultures, which change over time and they diversify in different parts of the world, is a duty for theology. At the same time, it is a necessary condition for the vitality of the Christian Faith, for the mission of evangelization of the Church.

The pope gave the winners the best praise that can be dedicated to a theologian who admires Benedict XVI: their work makes them “cooperators of the truth,” the episcopal motto of Card. Ratzinger.