The 2023 Ratzinger Prize was different than the previous 12 editions. Typically, Pope Francis presents the award. But with his recent illness, he instead sent his greetings through the president of the Joseph Ratzinger – Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, Fr. Federico Lombardi.
Pope Francis has charged me to greet you all, and, in his name, I give you his cordial greetings and thoughts with this evening's meeting in mind.
This year, the recipients were both professors from Spain. Fr. Pablo Blanco is a professor of sacramental theology and ministry and Francesc Torralba is a philosopher and theologian. Both expressed the important impact Benedict XVI's philosophy has had on the world.
Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, reflected on how the award ceremony now takes on a different atmosphere following Pope Benedict XVI's death almost one year ago.
The ceremony of the presentation of the awards bearing his name naturally takes on the character of a gathering in his memory. And reflecting on the legacy he left us, it is a living inheritance to continue to bear fruit in the journey of the Church in our time.
Since 2011, the Foundation has given the award to scholars for their scientific research or work in the field of theology. This was the first year the prize was given and the recipients did not meet with its namesake.