Pope Francis receives Charlemagne Prize

Well deserved. 

Pope Francis receives the Charlemagne Prize from Jurgen Linden, president of the Society for the Conferral of the Charlemagne Prize, during a ceremony in the Sala Regia at the Vatican May 6. At left is Marcel Philipp, mayor of Aachen, Germany, where the prize is normally presented. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-DREAM-EUROPE-CHARLEMAGNE May 6, 2016.

Pope Francis on Friday was handed Germany’s prestigious Charlemagne Prize, given each year to public figures who have made exceptional contributions to the cause of promoting European unity.

Francis, a vocal champion of migrant rights and other social justice causes, was honoured for acting as Europe’s “voice of conscience,’’ the awarding committee said when it made the decision in November.

In a break from custom, the prize was presented in the Vatican, rather than in the German city of Aachen.

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