With the pope's agreement and funding, the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation has been established to promote theological studies on his writings and to reward promising scholars.
Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the foundation, said it was established with $3.2 million from the pope.
The money represents part of the royalties from the publication of his books; the rest of his royalty income goes to charity, Scotti told reporters.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the new foundation's scientific committee, said he hoped that someday the Ratzinger Prizes in sacred Scripture, patristics and fundamental theology "would be considered as something analogous to a Nobel Prize for theology."