Loading
American priest celebrates receiving Ratzinger award in Rome
By Matthew A. Rarey
Fr. Brian Daley, Ratzinger Award winner, poses with his award in Rome on Oct. 20, 2012. Credit: Alan Holdren-CNA.
Fr. Brian Daley, Ratzinger Award winner, poses with his award in Rome on Oct. 20, 2012. Credit: Alan Holdren-CNA.

.- An American priest and scholar who was awarded the annual Ratzinger Prize for Theology by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 20 was both thrilled and surprised to receive the honor.

“It was a total surprise for me, but I'm really touched that they would think of me for this and that it would bear the name of our present Holy Father, whom I have always admired a lot,” said Father Brian Daley, a Jesuit professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.

The 72-year-old shared the honor with French Catholic lay philosopher, Remi Brague.

“Fr. Daley and Professor Brague are exemplary for the transmission of knowledge that unites science and wisdom, scientific rigor and passion for man, so that man might discover the true 'art of living,'” the Pope said at the Vatican ceremony.

Established in 2010 by the Joseph Ratzinger Vatican foundation, the award is described as an effort to “promote the publication, distribution, and study of the writings” of the former university professor, known today as Pope Benedict XVI.

In an interview with CNA after Saturday's event, Fr. Daley reflected that the winners of the prestigious award tend to be those “who do the kind of theology and philosophy that the Holy Father himself is interested in.”

Pope Benedict, he noted, has “worked for so many years on the Church fathers and medieval theology – he has a wonderful book on Augustine, he has one on St. Bonaventure – and then also on the interface between faith and philosophy, faith and reason.”

“I studied the early Church,” he added, and co-recipient Remi Brague “works on the relationship of religion and faith within a democracy and modern culture, with both Islam and Christianity.”

“So, I think these are both things that the person of the Holy Father is very interested in.”

Fr. Daley, a scholar specializing in the early Church fathers, said these formative theologians and pastors should serve to inspire Christians of every age and advance the work of the New Evangelization, the topic being addressed at the bishops' synod currently underway in Rome and ending Oct. 28.

“I think there is that liberating effect” in reading about the early Church, he said.

“Many of the people we read, as Church fathers, are really good theologians – highly sophisticated people of many different skills and outlooks. They were not uniform. But they presented different approaches to making sense of the Christian faith in their own time.”

Touching on the role theology plays in the modern world, Fr. Daley said “we're always thinking about how we can make sense, how we can give account for the faith that we share.”

“Theology does that. What I do is one part of doing that. Seeing theology as something alive, that draws on its past but is constantly thinking about itself, enables us to continue that process with more freedom.”?

The award ceremony was not the first time Fr. Daley has met the Pope – the two became acquainted when he was studying theology in Germany and met the future pontiff at a seminar in 1970.

“He spoke on the subject of Christology; who is Christ for us?” Fr. Daley recalled. “It was a little group, maybe 20 people in all. And we all had dinner together and Cardinal Ratzinger celebrated Mass for us every day.”

“It was a very intimate gathering. I don’t know if he remembers my presence there, but I definitely remember his. I never dreamed he'd be Pope.”

Tags: Pope Benedict, Theology


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: