The Vatican has announced the first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize for theological studies relating to the writings of Pope Benedict that it hopes will one day be looked on as equivalent to a Nobel Prize in theology. The prizes will be given out by Pope Benedict on June 30, Radio Vaticana reports. The Ratzinger Prize is a project of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, which was funded by Pope Benedict with the royalties he has received from his books. The prizes and the conferences the foundation sponsors focus on helping the truth, meaning and beauty of Christianity in relation to today's culture and society emerge. On Tuesday, the first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize were announced. Manlio Simonetti, the 85 year old expert on the Church Fathers, who is a retired professor from Rome’s "La Sapienza" University, as well as a noted lecturer at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum. Olegario González de Cardedal, the 77 year old Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical University of Salamanca. Maximilian Heim, O.Cist., the 50 year old professor of of dogmatic and fundamental theology (ecclesiology) at the University of Heiligenkreuz, whose focus has been on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger. During the presentation, the President of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, said the committee decided to award the prizes to two well-established scholars, as well as one whom he called “relatively young, but very promising.” He said this year’s awards covered the areas of patristics, and dogmatic and fundamental theology, but added he hoped future awards would be given in the area of Sacred Scripture. Last year, when the awards were being announced, Cardinal Ruini said he hoped they would someday be viewed as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Theology. SOURCE Winners of first 3 Ratzinger Prizes in theology (Radio Vaticana)Vatican announces winners of "Ratzinger Prize in Theology" (Rome Reports/YouTub
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