Spanish Theologians Honored with 2023 Ratzinger Prize for Outstanding Contributions
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Two distinguished Spanish theologians, Father Pablo Blanco-Sarto and Francesc Torralba Rosello, have been awarded the prestigious 2023 Ratzinger Prize, an honor named after the late Pope Benedict XVI. The accolade recognizes outstanding contributions to theology and is bestowed by the Joseph Ratzinger-Pope Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation.
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Father Pablo Blanco-Sarto, 59, a professor affiliated with Opus Dei at the University of Navarra, received recognition for his extensive work on Joseph Ratzinger, including a biography. He is a key member of the editorial committee translating the late pope's works into Spanish, specializing in ecumenism, sacramental theology, and ministry.
Francesc Torralba Rosello, 56, a professor at Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, is celebrated for his remarkable achievement of authoring over 100 books. His focus on philosophical anthropology and ethics has significantly contributed to the field of theology. Notably, Torralba is a married man and father of five.
Blanco-Sarto graciously shared the credit for the award, acknowledging the collaborative efforts of fellow theologians in Spain, particularly recognizing the late Father Antonio Aranda, a retired theology professor. He emphasized, "All award is a shared merit; it transcends the person himself."
The approval of nominees for the Ratzinger Prize requires the Pope's endorsement. While traditionally presented by Pope Francis, this year, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, is set to present the awards at the Apostolic Palace on November 30.
The Joseph Ratzinger-Pope Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, established in 2007 by former students of Ratzinger, aims to support theological research. Pope Benedict XVI donated funds in 2010, describing the foundation as a "Nobel prize in theology."
The Ratzinger Prize, awarded annually to two or three individuals, has recognized a diverse range of scholars beyond Catholic theologians. The winners have included experts from various backgrounds, such as a Church of England biblical scholar, a Lutheran theologian, a Swiss Catholic architect, an Eastern Orthodox musician, and a Jewish law professor.
Notably, Father Brian Daley, a Jesuit priest and retired theology professor at Notre Dame, remains the sole native-born American recipient, winning the award in 2012.
Blanco-Sarto and Torralba join the esteemed list as the 27th and 28th recipients since the award's inception in 2011. The foundation generates funds through the sales of Pope Benedict's books, notably the three-volume "Jesus of Nazareth," which delves into the life and teachings of Jesus through historical, theological, and scriptural perspectives.
Joseph Ratzinger, born in Germany in 1927, had a distinguished career as a theologian, becoming Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. His legacy lives on through the Ratzinger Prize, recognizing the ongoing contributions of scholars to the field of theology.
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