Francis in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: “Prayer is the soul of the whole ecumenical movement”. Livestream service of the World Council of Churches in Austria on Wednesday evening.

The Pope has called Christians around the world to pray for ecclesiastical unity. “Prayer means striving for unity; yes, to fight, because our enemy, the devil, is the one who divides,” said Francis on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, during his weekly video address in the Apostolic Palace. He spoke on the occasion of the current week of prayer for Christian unity. 

“Prayer is the soul of the whole ecumenical movement,” emphasized the Pope. This is the only way to “overcome the scandal of divisions among those who believe in Jesus”. Unity is primarily a gift, a grace from God to be asked for. In this way one will learn to “love and appreciate” Christians of other denominations.

The week of prayer for Christian unity is celebrated every year around the world from January 18th to 25th or between Ascension Day and Pentecost. During the week of prayer, Pope Francis will also celebrate an ecumenically designed evening prayer on Monday (25 January) in the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Check out more details about Church Vestments here,

In Austria, the World Council of Churches (Ă–RKĂ–) invites you to attend the traditional central divine service on Wednesday evening (6 p.m.) on the occasion of the international “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”. Believers can join the celebration via live stream on the YouTube and Ă–RKĂ– website A public service on site is not possible due to the applicable Corona restrictions.

Science-related skepticism disturbing phenomenon

Cardinal honors 26 scientists with the Prize. Appeal to those active in research “not to be unsettled by conspiracy theorists and the prophets of doom”.

On Saturday, November 6th, 2021, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn honored 26 scientists with the Cardinal Prize in the Archbishop’s Palace in Vienna. In his address, Schönborn spoke about vaccination refusers and corona deniers and said that the new science-related skepticism was a dismaying phenomenon that had to do with the loss of confidence in all areas – politics, church, authorities.

The Archbishop of Vienna reported on his encounters with Biontech co-founder Christoph Huber. Huber and the researcher couple Ugur Sahin / Ă–zlem TĂĽreci would have put all their energy into developing a COVID-19 vaccine in 2020. When they managed to get the vaccine ready for the market in less than a year, something astonishing happened: “The vaccine was met with massive skepticism. This new science-related skepticism is something startling,” said Schönborn.

The new skepticism shows how far the process of division has progressed in society. The loss of trust is a deeply dangerous development. “Because solid scientific research is a pillar of a free, democratic society,” emphasized the cardinal. It is therefore important that those involved in research “do not allow themselves to be unsettled by conspiracy theorists and the prophets of doom”.

Schönborn named “the personal credibility of people in the world of science” as a further necessity to overcome the negative mood. Because the individual experiences it positively “that a researcher personality imparts trust”.

18 sponsorship awards

The 26 awarded scientists each received one of the gradations of the Cardinal Innitzer Prize. The variants are the Grand Prize 2021 (Prof. Manfred Burgstaller), the Grand Prize 2020 (Prof. Fritz Paschke), the Appreciation Prize for the Humanities 2021 (Prof. Dieter Stiefel), the Appreciation Prize for the Humanities 2020 (Prof. Bert Fragner), the Appreciation Award for Natural Sciences 2021 (Prof. Francesca Ferlaino), the Appreciation Award for Natural Sciences 2020 (Prof. Josef Penninger), the Appreciation Award for Science Journalism 2021 (Florian Aigner) and the Honor Award for Science Journalism 2020 (GĂĽnther Mayr). In addition, 18 scientists received Cardinal Innitzer sponsorship awards.

The science award, named after the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Theodor Innitzer (1875-1955), is one of the most prestigious awards of its kind in Austria. It has been awarded by the Archdiocese of Vienna since 1962 and supported by the Ministry of Science, several federal states, banks, insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce. The list of award winners reads like a “who’s who” of Austrian science.

Member of the “Council of Wise Men”

The winner of the 2021 Grand Prix, Prof. Manfred Burgstaller, was born in Wels in 1939. From 1964 to 1972 he was an assistant at the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Vienna, in 1969 he completed his habilitation in criminal law and criminal procedural law at the University of Vienna, and in 1973 he became professor for criminal law, criminal procedural law and criminology at the University of Linz. From 1975 until his retirement in 2007 he was senior professor for criminal law and criminology at the University of Vienna, then professor emeritus. From 1984 to 1997, Burgstaller was a member of the Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, 1991 visiting professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, New Jersey (USA). He has been the corresponding,

In 2009, Burgstaller was appointed legal protection officer at the Federal Minister of the Interior and held this office, which also includes the area of ​​constitutional protection, until July 2021. In 2014 and 2015 he was also a member of the “Weisenrat” set up by the Federal Minister of Justice to monitor his instructions to the public prosecutor’s offices.

Last year’s main prize winner Prof. Fritz Paschke was born in Gösting near Graz in 1929. He studied electrical engineering and communications engineering in Graz and Vienna and received his doctorate in 1955. He then worked at the Radio Corporation of America in Princeton and at Siemens AG in Munich. In 1965 he became professor for general electrical engineering at the Vienna University of Technology, and from 1971 to 1976 he was rector or prorector. From 1974 to 1982 Paschke was Vice President of the Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Research. Even after his retirement he was active in many areas of research, including the development of a completely new type of therapeutic light.