Vatican City, 16th November 2017 – On Saturday 18th November Pope Francis will deliver the Ratzinger Prize to the German Lutheran theologian Theodor Dieter, to the German Catholic priest and theologian Karl-Heinz Menke, to the Estonian musical composer Arvo Pärt, orthodox Christian. The ceremony will be held at the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City. It will start at 12 a.m. and it will be transmitted live on tv and on streaming on the website of the Vatican Tv Centre.
After the greetings from father Federico Lombardi, president of the Joseph Ratzinger -Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, the cardinal Kurt Kock, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and member of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation, will refer on the profile of the award winners of the seventh edition. They will receive the prize from Pope Francis.
After the prize giving, the Pope will give his speech, and the Master Arvo Pärt will play the song “Pater noster” with the piano that was owned by Benedict XVI. The solo voice will be a singer from the Voci bianche choir of the Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia. The famous composer dedicated the song to the 60th anniversary of the priesthood of Benedict XVI, held in 2011. During the ceremony, the Choir of the “Sistine” Pontifical Musical Chapel, directed by the Master Massimo Palombella, will play short musical pieces.
The three awarded people belong to three different Christian confessions: Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Orthodoxy. Moreover, for the first time there is an artist among them: the Scientific Committee of the Foundation has proposed it because Benedict XVI appreciates music and arts in general. They connect men with the Truth and favour the meeting with God.
There are 16 people who received the Ratzinger Prize from 2011 to now. They come from 12 different countries.