CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — The annual gathering of Pope Benedict’s former students has begun at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo and is examining the ecumenical dialogue the Catholic Church has with Lutherans and Anglicans.
“The fact that the Holy Father has chosen this theme for the meeting this year is a sign that the ecumenical question is of primary importance for him,” said participant Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna in an Aug. 30 interview with Vatican Radio.
“I think this is already a first essential concept, within the context of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, it is a strong sign that the Holy Father insists on the importance of these meetings between separated Christians.”
The Ratzinger Schülerkreis (Ratzinger Student Circle) has taken place every summer since 1977. It draws together those who defended their doctoral theses with the present Pope during his years teaching theology at various universities in Germany.
The basis for much of the group’s studies this week will be Cardinal Walter Kasper’s 2009 book Harvesting the Fruits, which explores Catholic relations with Anglicanism and Lutheranism.
The discussion on Lutheranism will be led by the German Lutheran Bishop-Emeritus Ulrich Wilckens, while the Swiss Catholic Bishop Charles Morerod of Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg will lead the discussion on Anglicanism.
H/t Dr. Bill Tighe