July 4, 2011

Pope Benedict will award three European theologians the Ratzinger Prize for their excellence in theological studies.

The pope will present the prizes, which include a cheque 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 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.