Pope Francis tells Europe, ‘I Have a Dream’

7ccfb754fe4e440cb9bbb0fdd6a2b3fdROME—On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech that became a defining moment in the American Civil Rights movement, laying out his dream for a racially reconciled nation.

On Friday, Pope Francis delivered his own “I have a dream” address, in this case dedicated to Europe, calling the continent to undergo a “memory transfusion” to avoid the mistakes of the past and to pursue a future based on economic justice, openness to newcomers, respect for life in all its stages, and dialogue with everyone.

“I dream of a Europe that is young, still capable of being a mother: a mother who has life because she respects life and offers hope for life,” Francis said on Friday, as he was accepting the prestigious Charlemagne Prize, given yearly to personalities or institutions for their efforts towards European unity.  Source

A pope who shuns awards set for a big one on Friday

a0ccb9afe79cc48b853c8a0fda7e4be8-717x450ROME — Not that Pope Francis probably needs additional accolades, but on Friday he’s set to receive a big one anyway: The prestigious Charlemagne Prize, awarded each year to individuals or institutions for their service to European unification.

Technically, he’ll become the first pontiff to receive the award since it was created in 1950. In 2004 Pope John Paul II received an “extraordinary” edition of the prize, the only one given so far, but the actual award that year went to Irish politician Patrick Cox.

St. John Paul, and now Francis, are the only religious leaders to have received the recognition, even though its origins include a Christian element.  Source