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Conference of the new student group in Regensburg 2013

Joseph Ratzinger and the Second Vatican Council














Regensburg/Speyer. For the first time since the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. the new student group Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI met. for its annual national meeting. It took place from April 12 to 14, 2013 at the invitation of Bischof  Prof. Dr. Rudolf Voderholzer in the St. Jakobus seminary and in the Pope Benedict XVI Institute. in the Bavarian diocese of Regensburg.  The organization was in the hands of Franz Xaver Heibl, employee at the institute and member of the new student group. From the student group Joseph Ratzinger/ Pope Benedict XVI. attended the Regensburg meeting whose speaker,  Prof. em. P. Stephan Otto Horn and AOR Dr. Josef Zoehrer.

At the last meeting of the Holy Father with his student circles in September 2012 in Castel Gandolfo, he provided the new student circle with a mentor: Kurt Cardinal Koch. The President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity took the time to take part in the entire conference in Regensburg, which pleased all participants. He was also able to report from  personal experiences he made in connection with the moving  events surrounding the resignation, the conclave and the election of Pope Francis as the successor of Peter would have. In addition to Cardinal Koch, individual members of the international New Student Circle were also able to experience the latest events directly on site. They reported on this on Friday evening, which after the joint celebration of vespers and dinner served as a welcome, the presentation of the state of research and the general exchange.

Like the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI Foundation, the New Student Group is now also dealing with the challenge that Benedict XVI's resignation from office poses. means for the future of the student groups of Pope Benedict. The meeting planned for September 2013 in Castel Gandolfo will take place as already planned, although the participation of the Holy Father Emeritus is still open. The new student group will also use the time until then to consider the future and will discuss this with the student group in late summer. In any case, the New Student Circle will continue to exist. He still sees his  primary task as urgent. Cardinal Koch and Father Prof. Horn also emphasized at the end of the discussion round: Right now it is necessary to do science in the spirit of Joseph Ratzinger, to promote his theology, to bring it up and to make it fruitful for the future.

The Liturgy of the Hours and the celebration of Holy Mass, presided over by Cardinal Koch, kicked off the study day on Saturday. The center of attention was the lecture by the Roman Curia cardinal entitled "Joseph Ratzinger and the Second Vatican Council." bishop dr Voderholzer took the opportunity to take part in the "bishop's further training". In five fundamental points, Koch developed the extent to which the Council served as a common thread in the biography and theology of Benedict XVI. is to be seen. He orientated himself on the different life and work phases of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. and explained Ratzinger's contribution to the preparation of the Council, his participation in the Council, his work in the reception and finally his papal teaching office on the foundation of the Second Vatican Council.
The extensive discussion on the brilliant lecture was followed by another highlight before lunch: In a short speech, Cardinal Koch described the "attitude of a theologian after Joseph Ratzinger". We offer an insight into both lectures as a download.

Lunch in the seminary offered the opportunity to continue sharing what had been heard. The diocesan bishop then accompanied the group at noon to the former home of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. to Pentling, where he had lived and worked during his professorship at the University of Regensburg, and which Benedict only donated to the Foundation of the Pope Benedict XVI Institute in 2010. had given up. The young scientists, who spend a lot of time at their desks themselves, were particularly impressed to see the true-to-original reconstruction of Joseph Ratzinger's study, which undoubtedly still exudes the presence of the thinker and scholar Joseph Ratzinger.

The time in the afternoon was reserved for the exchange of dissertation projects of the new students. As has become customary, two of them presented the current status of their work for discussion. This part of the regular national meetings in particular is found to be very helpful by all members of the new student group. After the joint celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, the day ended with a stroll through town and dinner in the Kolping Hotel, which Bishop Voderholzer and his successor in the management of the Institute, Benedict XVI, Dr. Christian Schaller, attended.  Dr. Schaller officially welcomed the group on Friday.

Finally, on Sunday, in addition to the common prayer of the hours and breakfast, the solemn service with Kurt Cardinal Koch und  Bischof  Voderholzer in the cathedral
St. Peter zu Regensburg the end of a successful conference. Voderholzer left his "cathedra" to Cardinal Koch during the Holy Mass, and so the guest from Rome not only celebrated the Holy Mass as the main celebrant (while some priests of the New Student Circle concelebrated), but also preached the sermon. In this he emphasized the need for a deep faith in Christ, which must free itself from the delusion of pure doing in church and world and, as an Easter faith in the resurrection and life after death, not be reduced to a "maybe" (Jean Paul Sartre). may let.

The new student group would like to thank the Bishop of Regensburg for his hospitality. With Benedict XVI United in prayer, the members are already looking forward to their next meeting with the student group on
30 August to 02 September in Italy.

Manuel Wluka and Stefan Ahrens















Photos: Manuel Wluka, Stefanos Athanasiou

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