A leading House Democrat is urging members of the committee charged with awarding Nobel Peace prizes to grant the honor to Pope Francis, Politico reports.
California Rep. Adam Schiff will began circulating Wednesday a letter among his House colleagues that calls for the pope to be given the highly-touted humanitarian award for using his “pulpit to exhort people and nations around the world to conduct their affairs with spirituality, morality and integrity.”
“Pope Francis has been a powerful advocate for peace, urging an end to conflict and support for constitutive ties among nations,” Schiff wrote. “He has called on the world to use diplomacy and discussion to solve disputes, rather than military force, coercion or intimidation. This commitment to nonviolence, which the Pope has put into practice every day through his words and actions, is at the core of the principles behind the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Pope Francis is in Washington this week to meet with President Barack Obama and give a joint address to Congress.
Democrats have praised the pope, who was elected in 2013, for speaking out on climate change, immigration and forgiveness for those who have lived outside the traditional tenants of the Catholic Church.
Lawmakers have also thanked the pope for being a leading advocate to push countries to accept a series of migrants fleeing the Middle East for Europe.
Schiff wrote in the letter that Pope Francis’ compassion for the refugees solidifies his credential for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“As the world struggles to cope with a flood of refugees not seen since the end of World War II, the Pope has emerged as perhaps the leading advocate for relief,” he wrote. “The Pontiff has called on the international community to respond meaningfully to this unsurpassed humanitarian disaster. His compassion has also taken the concrete form of inviting a Syrian refugee family to reside in his residence at the Vatican.”