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Ratzinger and reindeer

Update: The conference was a success! Please visit the website of the next conference, planned for 2024!

WHAT? A Ratzinger conference in Finland, June 3-5, 2022. Keynote speaker: Professor Tracey Rowland (Australia), author of Ratzinger’s Faith and Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, winner of the 2020 Joseph Ratzinger Prize.

WHY? Because Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) turned 95, and reindeer are sweet.

WHERE AND WHEN? Cultural centre and conference hotel Sofia in Helsinki, Finland, 3-5 June, 2022.

WHO AND FOR WHOM? For the organizers and partners, click here. The conference is meant for Ratzinger scholars, doctoral researchers, professors and students of theology, priests, seminarians, theologians, laypeople, and anyone interested!

Size: Estimated at 10-20 participants. The keynote lecture is meant for a wider public.

Registration: No registration needed for academic sessions, but for meals, please register as soon as possible to fineca[at] or by using the contact form of this website.


  • Academic sessions FREE. Voluntary participation fee 50e to cover organizational costs.
  • Meals: Friday lunch 12,80€. Friday dinner including a show, 30€. Saturday light dinner (salad/pies approx. 10-20€), Sunday dinner out at a restaurant. Please register for the meals.
  • Accommodation at Sofia at 40/60 euros (double/single room) per person per night.


Friday June 3rd, 2022

  • 11.30 am – 2 pm lunch
  • 2.30 pm opening Mass
  • 4 pm Welcome and intro lecture by Dr. Emil Anton
  • 6 pm Professor Tracey Rowland’s keynote lecture: ”Ratzinger and Europe”
  • 8 pm dinner with show

Saturday June 4th, 2022

7.30-10 breakfast

8 am Holy Mass

9.30 am private visit to Nuuksio reindeer park, lunch

3 pm Academic session 1:

Peter McGregor (Australia): Joseph Ratzinger’s Theological Anthropology  

Alejandro Sada (Mexico), remotely via Zoom: Christianity and the Meaning of Life: A Reflection Based on the Thought of Joseph Ratzinger

5 pm Academic session 2:

Elio Guerriero (Italy), remotely via Zoom: The Friendship and collaboration between Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar

Jacques Servais SJ (France/Italy), remotely via Zoom: “Concern for peace is concern for justice”: How to interpret Ratzinger’s words for today?

7 pm Orthodox prayer, sauna.

8 pm light dinner

Sunday June 5, 2022

Sunday Mass, visiting Helsinki sights

5 pm academic session 3:

Pablo Blanco (Spain): Ratzinger, the Logos and the Weltethos (remotely)

Oskari Juurikkala (Finland): The Creative and Redemptive Word: The Book of Nature according to Benedict XVI

Final discussion

8 pm concluding dinner (out, speakers and organizers)

If you would like to participate via Zoom, please ask for the link by using the contact form.