Household names Richard Gere, George Clooney, and Salma Hayek are no strangers to glitzy awards in the film business.
But an award given to them by the Pontiff himself?
Pope Francis awarded the three film stars with the “Scholas Occurrentes” award — the Vatican’s own from its foundation that works to link technology and the arts for social integration and world peace.
Francis had a similar organization before becoming Pope, when he was cardinal in Buenos Aires.
He says back then, he never thought that he’d become Pope… much less handing out awards to celebrities.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) POPE FRANCIS SAYING:
“It did not cross my mind not to do this because of the responsibility. And I’ll confess that it didn’t cross my mind either that they would elect me.”
Scholas Occurrentes organizers say the awards were given to film actors because “important values” can be transmitted by them to the masses.
As award recipients, Clooney, Gere, and Hayek have each agreed to act as ambassador’s for the foundation’s arts projects.
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