Is it appropriate for Pope Francis to accept the Charlemagne Prize?

It seems odd that the Holy Father should so openly take one side in the controversy over European integration

As role models for a 21st-century pope go, our ancestor Charles the Great falls short of the ideal: a womaniser and warlord, he was also somewhat intolerant when it came to interfaith matters, having 10,000 Saxons put to death for refusing to abandon paganism. As his grandfather Charles Martel also had a rather straightforward approach to Islam, I can’t imagine the younger Charles would have been so keen on the whole interfaith thing.

He was, however, a firm believer in European unity, so long as he was the one in charge, which is how his name came to be attached to the Charlemagne Prize, an award given out every year to an individual who has promoted European unity.

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