Pope Francis honored American actors George Clooney and Richard Gere and actress Salma Hayek on Sunday, awarding them the “Olive Medal” for peace at a Vatican event.
The Vatican event was organized to promote the work of a foundation called Scholas Occurrentes (schools of encounter), which Clooney praised as “a wonderful program” that enables “many different religions to speak of inclusion, because we know that hatred and fundamentalist attitudes are learned and inculcated.”
It wasn’t clear from reports what the celebrities had actually done to merit the medals, although George Clooney is well known as a liberal activist and successful fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, with attendees paying as much as $353,400 per person at a recent event held at the actor’s home.
According to its website, Scholas is an International Organization founded in 2013 and operating under the auspices of the Vatican, which “connects technology with arts and sports in order to promote social integration and the culture of encounter for peace.”
In recent months Clooney has come under attack for criticizing Europe for not taking in more Syrian refugees, while insisting on absolute isolation in his $100 million palatial estate on Lake Cuomo.
Conservative commentator Alex Jones recently laid into Clooney as “one of the biggest fake, liberal, con-men of all time” for his visceral attacks on Donald Trump, fawning support of Hillary Clinton, and hypocrisy for scolding the West for not taking in more Syrian refugees while not lifting a finger to help.
In his critique, Jones includes a video from Paul Joseph Watson with more than 5 million views, which further excoriates the actor for his alleged double standards and moral self-righteousness. The critique notes that the actor owns five mansions, three of which are in Europe, and that he just bought another in Britain for 10 million pounds sterling. He further noted that the villa has eight empty bedrooms, and yet the actor isn’t exactly taking in migrants.
In his words to the celebrities, Pope Francis told them: “You have a great responsibility, you have to help the world recover the language of gestures.”
Pope Francis is well known for his vision of “a poor Church and a Church for the poor.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter