- Feb 23, 2020
Created in 2011, the annual Ratzinger Prize is designed to honor outstanding theological work in the spirit of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI, and this year for the first time one of the recipients is an Orthodox Christian.
Pope Francis will visit Georgia and Azerbaijan Sept. 30-Oct. 2, his 16th trip outside of Italy, and from the detailed schedule released on Monday, this time it appears the pontiff’s focus will be mostly on outreach to both Orthodox Christians and also Muslims.
Pope Francis will meet another Orthodox icon when he travels to Georgia in late September, a reminder of ironies in Catholic/Orthodox relations on his watch — including that one of the historical legacies of this “progressive” pope could be giving the staunchly conservative Orthodox a greater voice in Catholic life.
Despite the fact that four of the fourteen independent Eastern Orthodox churches of the world opted not to show up, an expert on Orthodoxy insists that the “Holy and Great Council” in Crete in late June was significant, arguing that meeting together to hash out issues is part of the DNA of Orthodoxy.
Eastern and Western Christianity have been divided for a millennium, and although in recent decades both Catholic and Orthodox leaders have made closer ties a priority, some serious issues still remain — including, in the first place, the role and the authority of the pope.