Hume receives papal knighthood

Sun, Oct 7, 2012, 01:00

Former SDLP leader John Hume has received his papal knighthood at a special Mass in Derry.

It was announced in June that Mr Hume was to be made a Knight Commander of St Gregory by Pope Benedict XVI.

The honour comes more than 13 years after Mr Hume was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his work during the Troubles.

Mr Hume said he felt honoured by the knighthood, which was presented at St Eugene’s Cathedral in the city last night.

Retired Bishop of Derry Edward Daly said it was a very fitting tribute to a great friend and confidant.

“All during his life, John stood up for the dignity of the individual and for his or her civil and human rights - he did this in a practical and imaginative manner, helping to found the credit union here in Derry, leading the civil rights movement in Derry and in the North, articulating and protesting against the injustices that people were suffering and always doing this in a non-violent and democratic manner,” he said.

He added: “In calmer and more objective times, when historians look back at the second half of the 20th century here in the north-west, they will certainly look with approval, admiration and appreciation on the leadership, decency, honour and integrity of the work of John and Pat Hume.

“I would like to think that their faith was a great support and strength to them at times of difficulty and challenge.

“Truly, blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called sons of God.”

PA