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Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Catholic Church honours Archbishop of Canterbury
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¬†The Archbishop of Canterbury received one of the top honours awarded by the Catholic Church in a ceremony at Westminster Cathedral today. Dr Rowan Williams is the first Archbishop of Canterbury to be made Knight Grand Cross ≠ the highest grade of the Royal Order of Francis I. The award is for developing and encouraging dialogue between Protestants and Catholics both in his time as Archbishop of Canterbury and in his previous positions. Others who received awards, included Northern Ireland secretary Paul Murphy, who was made Knight of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, for his work promoting peace in Northern Ireland. Former Chief of Defence Staff General Lord Guthrie received the Knighthood of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George. Baroness Thatcher was made Dame Grand Cross, the highest honour of the Royal Order of Francis I, for lifetime work towards inter-faith dialogue. The Passage homeless centre was among those recognised for contributing to the life of the Catholic Church and supporting charities and humanitarian initiatives. The ceremony was presided over by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda - the most senior cardinal to visit Britain since the Pope's visit in 1982. Among those who sent messages of support were the Queen and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr Blair said the aim of fostering dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims was "an integral part to strengthening cohesion between our communities". "I am proud that Britain is a country of many faiths and many cultures and that this diversity is seen by the overwhelming majority of decent people as one of our country's strengths," he said.
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