Presentation of “Open Reason” Awards and Proceedings of Congress 2015 in Madrid

madrid, 28.IX.16

(7/10/16) A look to the past and ideas for the future: the proceedings of the 5th International Congress promoted by Ratzinger’s Foundation on the topic “The prayer and the power to change the world” - held in October 2015 at the Francisco de Vitoria University of Madrid - and their first result, the “Open Reason” Awards have been presented.

“Those who know Joseph Ratzinger’s thought and Pope Benedict’s teachings – the president of the Foundation Fr. Federico Lombardi explained – also know that the relationship between faith and reason, and between theology, philosophy and science is particularly dear to him and it is often present in his speeches.” “The positivist view is very popular in contemporary thought: it denies the scientific value of philosophy and theology and it definitively separates them from the world of science, that is reduced to the field of maths and experimental check. Ratzinger looks at it with a great concern – Father Lombardi added – because it could be dangerous as it reduces human power and it threatens the foundations of law and human dignity. That’s why he often claims that we must have an open view on the value of reason and use it in order to try to find the truth and the answers to the basic questions about us and our destiny”.

The “Open Reason” Awards come from the joint effort of Ratzinger’s Foundation and the Francisco de Vitoria University. They are initiatives of high academic and scientific value and their main aim is to foster scientific research and innovation in the field of teaching. Through interdisciplinary dialogue they inherit Benedict’s invitation to broaden the horizons of reason. Four awards will be given - two of them regard research and the others education – and four are also the thematic areas: legal, economic and social sciences, communication sciences, biomedical and health sciences, information technology and architecture. For more information on the awards you can visit

The book “La oración, fuerza que cambia el mundo”, published in Spanish by BAC and edited by Isidro Catela Marcos, collects the proceedings of the International Congress “The prayer and the power to change the world”. At the end of the 5th Centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus, the link between the saint of Avila and Joseph Ratzinger explains the power the prayer has to change the world. The book contains a lot of reports held by scholars like the archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria, the Jesuit Gabino Uribarri, father Bernardo Estrada and the Carmelite priests Agustí Borrell and Emilio Martínez. There are also the texts coming from the roundtables on the following topics: “Person, university, family” and “Communication, social involvement, persecuted Christians”.

The presentation ceremony, held at the Capitular Hall of the Cathedral of Madrid on 28th September, was attended by the archbishop of Madrid Msgr. Carlos Osoro Sierra, vice-president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, the rector of the Francisco de Vitoria University Daniel Sada, the Provincial Prior of the Discalced Carmelites father Miguel Márquez Calle.

Read the presentation of Father Lombardi