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Pope Francis will receive the Charlemagne Prize tomorrow for being Europe's "voice of conscience"

Tomorrow, Pope Francis will receive the Charlemagne prize in the Regal Room of the Vatican. This is an award given to distinguished individuals for their contribution to world peace, to the unity of Europe, and for the promotion of this continent's longstanding values.  It was instituted in Aachen at the end of 1949, and the jury is made up of some of the leading personalities of the German city. The Argentine pontiff will be the 58th winner of the prize and the second pope who will have received it after John Paul II in 2004. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, the presidents of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, will all attend the ceremony. They will meet with the Pope before the event. Other personalities like King Philip VI of Spain, will be in attendance.  Popes do not usually accept awards, so Pope Francis has raised great expectations for the speech that he will deliver at the ceremony. In fact, one of the reasons for giving him the award is that he is considered "the voice of conscienceâ? of the European continent.  JRB/MP RR -SV -PR up:FV #Pope Francis