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Conference of the new student group in Trier 2012

50 years after the Second Vatican Council -

in the sign of the Council Jubilee














Annual meeting of the new student group Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. in Trier 20.-22. April 2012

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Heilig-Rock pilgrimage, the annual meeting of the new student group took place in Trier, to which two representatives of Joseph Ratzinger's student group also attended. This encounter was symbolic insofar as the undivided robe of Jesus received an existential reference through the composition of the new student group of Catholic and Orthodox young theologians, which gave a very concrete form to the longing for unity.

After a joint Vespers and a cozy get-together, during which the new members introduced themselves and the others reported on their scientific activities and research, the Friday evening was rounded off with a visit to the musical evening praise in Trier Cathedral. The subject of the Saturday morning was the Council Jubilee. The Trier dogmatist, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Voderholzer, drew a wide arc in his presentation from the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea to the Second Vatican Council. Not only the references to the city of Trier were discussed. In his analysis, Voderholzer showed above all the astonishing parallels between the two young council theologians Athanasius and Joseph Ratzinger, who both gave decisive impulses to the councils, but were also groundbreaking for their reception. In addition, the Trier dogmatist drew attention to the martyrological aspect: Athanasius was exiled several times, which is why he had come to Trier in the first place; Ratzinger's exile was more of a theological exclusion, which led him into a similar isolation, if not so spatial. Further stops on the basics of Prof. Ratzinger's fundamental theology on the eve of Vatican II was his early examination of Hans Küng's understanding of concilium, the influence of movements within the Church (liturgical, ecumenical, patristic, Marian, etc.) in the first half of the 20th century. Century on Ratzinger's thinking and finally the fundamental importance of his two qualifying writings, through which Ratzinger was well prepared for the specific task as Council theologian, especially with regard to the core topics "ecclesiology" and "revelation".

On Saturday afternoon, which is traditionally devoted to the report from the New Students' own work, Dr. P. Justinus Pech OCist on "Truth and paradox as two central concepts in the theology of grace by Henri de Lubac and Joseph Ratzinger" and Dr. Stephan Herzberg on Habermas and Ratzinger and the relationship between faith and reason.

In the evening there was a lively conversation with the local bishop of Trier, Dr. Stephan Ackermann, which explored contemporary issues as well as the problems of polarization in theology.

On Sunday, the new student group was able to celebrate the pilgrimage high mass in Trier Cathedral. After a short tour of the old town with partly heavy downpours and a subsequent lunch, the members of the new school group said goodbye.

Everyone who contributed to the course of this successful meeting, above all Prof. Dr. Many thanks to Christoph Ohly, who took over the organization on site!


Michaela C. Hastetter and Josef Zöhrer


Photos: New student group

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