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On 30 November, in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of His Holiness, will award the Ratzinger Prize 2023 to the Reverend Professor Pablo Blanco Sarto and Professor Francesc Torralba. The ceremony will begin at 17.00 and will be characterized by reflection on Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI’s legacy almost a year after his death.
In the morning, at 8.15, Mass will be celebrated in his memory in the Vatican Grottoes.

The previous afternoon, 29 November, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, a study conference will be held in English on the theme “Benedict XVI’s Legacy”, beginning at 17.00.

Pablo Blanco Sarto was born on 12 July 1964 in Zaragoza, Spain. He studied Hispanic philology at the University of Navarra. In Rome he completed his studies in theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, then beginning his degree and then his doctorate in philosophy, on the thought of Luigi Pareyson (1918-1991). He was ordained a priest on 21 September 1997. In 2005 he concluded his doctorate in dogmatic theology at the University of Navarra, with a study on the fundamental theology and theology of religions of Joseph Ratzinger. He is currently full professor at the University of Navarra in the areas of ecumenism, sacramental theology and ministry. He collaborates with the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI of Regensburg, Germany, numerous Spanish and Latin American academic institutions, various publishing houses and pastoral and theological journals. He is a member of the editorial committee of the Opera omnia of Joseph Ratzinger in Spanish at the BAC. He is the author of numerous studies and books on the life, thought and work of Joseph Ratzinger – Benedict XVI.

Francesc Torralba Roselló is a philosopher and theologian. He was born in Barcelona on 15 May 1967, and is married with five children. He was awarded doctorates in philosophy from the University of Barcelona (1992), in theology from the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia (1997), in pedagogy from Ramon Llull University (2018), and in Christian history, archaeology and arts from the Ateneu Universitari Sant Pacià, Antoni Gaudí Faculty (2022). He is currently an accredited professor at Ramon Llull University and holds courses and seminars in other universities in Spain and America. He alternates teaching activity with his commitment to writing and communicating his thought, oriented towards philosophical anthropology and ethics. A prolific author, he has published more than 1800 articles and over 100 books.


The Ratzinger Prize is the principal initiative of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation. It is awarded, as established by the statutes, to “scholars who are distinguished by particular merits in the activity of publication and/or scientific research”. In recent years, the scope of the prizewinners has extended also to the arts practiced with Christian inspiration.

The candidatures for the Prize are proposed to the Holy Father for his approval, by the Foundation’s Scientific Committee, made up of five members appointed by the Pope. This is composed of Cardinals Kurt Koch (Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity), Luis Ladaria Ferrer (Prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith), Gianfranco Ravasi (President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture), Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella (Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization) and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer (Bishop of Regensburg and President of the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI).

The Prize has been awarded annually since 2011, each time to one or two scholars. Including the 2023 edition, there will be a total of 28 prizewinners.

The figures awarded so far have mainly been scholars of dogmatic and fundamental theology, sacred Scripture, patrology, and philosophy, and eminent artists in the fields of music and architecture.

Confirming a global cultural horizon, the prizewinners have been selected from sixteen different countries: Germany (7), France (4), Spain (3), Italy (2), Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, England, Estonia, Greece, Lebanon, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States.

The prizewinners are not only Catholics, but also of other Christian denominations: one Anglican, one Lutheran, two Orthodox and one of the Jewish faith.


International study conferences

The 11th International Conference organized by the Foundation, to be held at the Notre Dame University of Louaizé, Beirut, from 9 to 10 November 2022, on the tenth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente and his last international journey to Lebanon, had to be postponed due to the international geopolitical situation, following conflict in the region.


The “Razón abierta” Prize, in collaboration with the Francisco de Vitoria University of Madrid. It reached its sixth edition in 2023. The award ceremony was held in the Vatican on 17 October.

The “Ratio et spes” Prize, in collaboration with the Nicolò Copernico University of Toruń, Poland. It reached its fourth edition in 2023. The award ceremony was held on 19 February in Toruń.

Both prizes aim at promoting dialogue between different scientific disciplines, and philosophy and theology. Every year the Foundation awards four scholarships to particularly promising students undertaking doctorates in theology, patristics and Sacred Scripture.

Further information and more complete curricula are available at www.fondazioneratzinger.va.