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Sir Hume we presume

John Hume awarded knighthood by Pope

Derry Man becomes member of the Order of St. Gregory. But why does the Pope award knighthoods?

THE FORMER LEADER of the SDLP John Hume has been awarded a knighthood by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Nobel Laureate, who was one of the chief architects of the Northern Ireland peace process, was made a member of the Order of St. Gregory for his peace work.

The knighthood is normally awarded to people for their services to the Catholic church. However, in recent years it has been given to members of other religions, including some Sikhs and Jews, for services to their local communities.

Pope Gregory XVI instigated the order several months after becoming pope in 1830, to bestow thanks on the Italians and Austrians who fought to restore his authority to the papal states.

Hume’s engagement with Sinn Féin in the early 1990s  opened the way to an eventual IRA ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement.

John Hume tops poll to find ‘Ireland’s Greatest’ >

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