Ratzinger and reindeer

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. See the full program here.

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

WHERE AND WHEN? Cultural centre and conference hotel Sofia in Helsinki, Finland (27 minutes by taxi from Helsinki Airport), 3-5 June, 2022. The optional extended program includes a visit to medieval Turku on June 6th. You are also welcome to arrive early.

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 20 participants. The keynote lecture is meant for a wider public.

Registration: Please register to Dr. Emil Anton by May 15th, 2022, by using the contact form.


  • Academic sessions FREE. Voluntary fee 50e.
  • Full conference participation Fri-Sun 386 euros (double room) or 446 euros (single room) including accommodation for three nights (Fri-Mon), meals, touristic program and conference participation.
  • Extended program (Mon): Turku daytrip 93 euros incl. lunch and coffee. Plus an extra night (Mon-Tue) at Sofia at 40/60 euros (double/single room). Same price for extra nights for early arrivals.

Covid-19: Information and guidelines for entering Finland during the pandemic can be found here.




subject to changes

Friday June 3rd, 2022

  • arrival and registration, welcome coffee and lunch
  • 4 pm Welcome and intro lecture (Dr. Emil Anton)
  • 6 pm Professor Tracey Rowland’s keynote lecture: Ratzinger and Europe
  • 8 pm dinner
  • sauna
Tämän kuvan alt-attribuutti on tyhjä; Tiedoston nimi on img_20211203_150814.jpg
The chapel of Holy Wisdom (Sofia)

Saturday June 4th, 2022

8 am Mass, breakfast

9.30 Nuuksio Reindeer Park (93e, book at happyguidehelsinki@gmail.com)

Lunch at Haltia Nature Centre (included in tour)

3 pm Academic session 1:

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

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

5 pm Academic session 2:

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

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

7 pm Orthodox vigil, 8pm dinner

Sunday June 5, 2022

9 am Mass, breakfast

11am Holy Helsinki sightseeing, incl. lunch at Linnankellari (63e, book: happyguidehelsinki@gmail.com)

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

Extended program

Monday June 6th, 2022

Daytrip to Turku, Finland’s oldest city and medieval capital (93e). Visit the Turku Cathedral and Castle and other sights. Includes lunch.

NOTE: Lapland 7-8 June Cancelled.

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