Nobel laureate John Hume says he’s “deeply humbled and honoured” to have been awarded a Papal Knighthood by Pope Benedict.
The former SDLP leader has been made a Knight Commander of St. Gregory.
He told the ‘Journal’ yesterday: “I wish to thank my colleagues and friends in the SDLP without whose support and encouragement down the years we would not have achieved so much. I would also like to say thank you to Pat and my family who have been constantly at my side through many difficult times in politics.
“This award acknowledges not only my own involvement in the peace process but those of all the men and women on this island who endorsed and campaigned for peace over many, many years.”
Foyle MP Mark Durkan said the Papal honour was a “well-deserved acknowledgement” of Mr. Hume’s “single contribution to Irish and international life.”
The President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Rev Ken Lindsay, added: “Were it not for John Hume, we would have had no peace process, no Good Friday Agreement, none of the architecture of normality and stability that we are rapidly taking for granted.”