At a press conference held in Rome on 30 September, Fr. Federico Lombardi, President of the Ratzinger Foundation, announced the two recipients of the 2019 Ratzinger Award. In addition to the internationally renowned Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, the prize is awarded to Fr. Paul Béré, a Jesuit.
Originally from Burkina Faso, he followed philosophical and theological training for the priesthood in Ouagadougou. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1990. He then completed his theological studies at the Biblical Institute in Rome. Paul Béré has led several important projects for the development of theology in Africa, participated in the establishment of the first Jesuit School of Theology in Africa and launched a journal to promote research in African theology. His participation as an expert in several synods of bishops and his contribution to the General Secretariat of the Synods have enabled Africa to establish itself in the world of theological research.
The Ratzinger Foundation’s choice is in line with the broadening of cultural horizons constantly pursued by the Foundation’s Scientific Committee. This year, the objective was to emphasize philosophy in its reflection on faith in the contemporary world and to highlight African theology, with its very important mission for the inculturation of the Gospel and the mission of evangelization on the African continent.