The Ratzinger 2023 Prize has been awarded to Spanish theologians Fr. Pablo Blanco Sarto and Francesc Torralba Roselló. The Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation made the announcement on November 3, 2023. Cardinal Pietro Parolin will present the award on November 30. The ceremony will follow a conference on November 29 on the legacy of the German pope, almost a year after his death on December 31, 2022.
The prize, which the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation has awarded annually since 2011, recognizes “scholars who have distinguished themselves for their merits in publication and/or scientific research.” In recent years, it has also acknowledged Christian-inspired arts.
This year’s recipients
Fr. Pablo Blanco Sarto, from Zaragoza, is a specialist in the work of Joseph Ratzinger. He is a professor of theology at the University of Navarre and collaborator with the Pope Benedict XVI Institute in Regensburg, Germany. He is a also a member of the editorial committee of the complete works in Spanish of Joseph Ratzinger, to whom he has dedicated numerous books.
Francesc Torralba Roselló is a philosopher and theologian. He teaches at leading institutions in Catalonia, including Ramon Llull University, the University of Barcelona and the Antoni Gaudi Faculty of History, Archeology, and Christian Arts. He is also a writer and the author of over 100 books, mainly on philosophical anthropology and ethics.
This is the first time the prize has been awarded in the absence of Benedict XVI, who died on December 31, 2022. The prize winners used to visit the pontiff emeritus in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican Gardens. Pope Francis usually receives the prizewinners and presents them with the award, but this year Cardinal Parolin will take his place.
On November 29, the Pontifical Gregorian University will host a conference on Benedict XVI’s spiritual and intellectual legacy. On November 30, a mass will be celebrated in the Vatican grottoes, where the German pontiff lies.