- The Washington Times - Monday, May 30, 2016

Pope Francis on Sunday awarded medals to American actors George Clooney and Richard Gere and actress Salma Hayek for their work to fight climate change, war and terrorism.

The Hollywood A-listers were awarded the “Medal of the Olive” by Scholas Occurrentes Pontifical, an international education foundation run by the Vatican that seeks to integrate art, technology and culture, the Catholic media agency Crux reported.

“When peoples, families, friends separate, only animosity and even hatred can come out of that division,” the pope said. “But when they come together in a ‘social friendship,’ we find a defense against every kind of throwaway culture.”

Francis kept the movie stars waiting for more than 90 minutes, arriving late to the award ceremony after meeting with a dozen internationally famous YouTubers, including Dulce Candy and Matthew Patrick.

The pontiff took questions from the Internet celebrities about what they can do to create a more diverse and understanding virtual community, cautioning against pride, arrogance and bullying online.

“Bullying is an aggression that hides a lot of cruelty,” he said. “The world is cruel. And wars are a monument to that cruelty.”

The celebrity meet-and-greets marked the end of the VI Scholas World Encounter, which drew more than 400 people from 190 countries at the Vatican from May 27 to 29.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide