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RATZINGER PRIZE Jun-14-2011 (220 words) xxxi

Three European theologians to receive Ratzinger Prize from pope

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI will award three European theologians the Ratzinger Prize for their excellence in theological studies.

The pope will present the prizes, which include a check for $87,000, to the winners in the Apostolic Palace June 30.

It's the first time the prizes will be awarded since the establishment of the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Vatican Foundation last year.

The Vatican announced the winners during a June 14 news conference.

The winners are:

-- Manlio Simonetti, an 85-year-old Italian professor and expert in ancient Christian studies and patristic biblical interpretation.

-- Father Olegario Gonzalez de Cardedal, a 76-year-old Spanish priest and professor of dogmatic and fundamental theology.

-- Cistercian Father Maximilian Heim, a 50-year-old German theologian and abbot of the Heiligenkreuz monastery in Austria.

Cardinal members of the foundation's scientific committee chose the winners and picked scholars who had been building bridges between theology and culture, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the new foundation's scientific committee, told journalists at the press conference.

The Ratzinger Prize will be awarded each year in sacred Scripture, patristics and fundamental theology.

With the pope's agreement and funding as well as with private donations, the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Vatican Foundation was established to promote theological studies on his writings and to reward promising scholars.

END


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