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Friday, September 28, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The plenary assembly of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) is meeting in Sankt-Gallen, Switzerland, from 27 to 30 September, in an event which coincides with the 1400th anniversary of the arrival there of St. Gallus, a disciple and compatriot of St. Columbanus. For the occasion Cardinal Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has, in the Holy Father's name, sent a message to Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the CCEE, in which he notes that this anniversary "invites us to reflect on the perennial task of evangelisation, and on its current and renewed importance".

"The experience of St. Gallus, like that of so many other protagonists of the evangelisation of Europe and the entire world, teaches us that the Christian message is sowed and takes root where it is put into authentic and eloquent effect by a community, in such a way that preaching is supported by the witness of fraternal charity and animated by joint prayer", the cardinal writes.

"Thus the memory of St. Gallus and his work, on the eve of the Synod on the New Evangelisation, will be a stimulus to the plenary of the CCEE to look with faith and hope - with the gaze of Christ the Lord - to the 'great harvest' of the European peoples, following the path of Vatican Council II and the teachings of the Supreme Pontiffs who have put it into effect. In particular, we should recall the magisterial lesson of Servant of God Paul VI in his 'Evangelii nuntiandi', and the bequest of Blessed John Paul II in 'Novo millennio ineunte', naturally in the light of Magisterium of the Holy Father Benedict XVI and with a view to the forthcoming Year of Faith".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the "Ratzinger Prize", which was established by the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI" and is due to be conferred on 20 October.

At the press conference Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Foundation's academic committee, announced the names of the prize winners: the French historian Remi Brague and the American scholar of patrology and theology Fr. Brian Edward Daley S.J.

From 1990 to 2010 Remi Brague was professor at La Sorbonne University in Paris, France. He currently holds the "Romano Guardini" chair at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, while continuing to work as visiting professor at a number of American, Spanish and Italian universities. He is a member of the "Institut de France, Academie des sciences morales et politiques", and holds the "Grand Prix de Philosophie de l'Academie Francaise". His many works include: "Europe, la voie romaine", "La sagesse du monde. Histoire de l'experience humaine de l'univers", "Du Dieu des chretiens et d’un ou deux autres" and "Les Ancres dans le Ciel".

Cardinal Ruini described Professor Brague as "a true philosopher and, at the same time, a great historian of cultural thought who unites a profound and unequivocal Christian and Catholic faith to his speculative ability and historical vision".

From 1978 to 1996 Fr. Brian Edward Daley taught theology and the history of theology at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Currently he is a professor at the University of Notre Dame. He is active in the field of ecumenism, particularly as regards relations between Catholics and Orthodox, and is the Catholic secretary of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation. Among other works, he is author of "The Hope of the Early Church: A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology". He has also edited an anthology of texts of Jesuit spirituality entitled "Companions in the Mission of Jesus", and contributed to the "Handbuch der Dogmengeschichte".

Fr. Daley, said Cardinal Ruini, "is a great historian of patristic theology, but also a man entirely committed to the life and mission of the Church, an exemplary model of the fusion of academic rigour with passion for the Gospel".

Benedict XVI ordered the creation of the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI" on 1 March 2010, in order to respond to a desire expressed by many scholars over the course of the years. One of the tasks of the academic committee is to establish criteria of excellence for the creation and conferral of prizes to scholars who have distinguished themselves in academic publications and/or research.

"The aim of the Foundation", explained Msgr. Giuseppe Scotti, president of that institution who was also present at today's press conference, "is to place the issue of God at the core of philosophical reflection. ... The conferral of the Ratzinger Prize, which seeks to place the question of God before the eyes of the public, is just one of the Foundation's three regular activities. The other two, perhaps less well know but equally important, ... are the granting of bursaries to doctorate students of theology, and organising high-level academic conferences".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Zion Evrony, the new Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, for the presentation of his Letters of Credence.

- Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

- Cardinal Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.

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