A Pope-ular affair: George and Amal Clooney visit the Vatican
Pope Francis shaking hands with US actor George Clooney and his wife Amal Clooney prior a meeting with the participants of the Sixth World Congress of Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes. (AFP)
Hollywood stars Richard Gere and George Clooney met Pope Francis on Sunday, as they were given awards during a conference by a Vatican charity for youth education that the two actors are sponsoring.
Francis looked on as Gere and Clooney were awarded the Scholas Occurrentes foundation's Peace Olive Tree medals in front of an audience of about 400 people, the ANSA news agency reported.
Clooney was accompanied by his wife Amal Alamuddin.
Earlier, the pontiff responded to questions submitted by young people. One asked if he had ever considered quitting from his position because it entailed too many responsibilities.
Francis was elected in 2013 after the resignation of his predecessor Benedict XVI, an act no pope had taken in almost 600 years.
"I never thought of quitting," he responded.
"I never thought they would have picked me, it was a surprise, but at that moment God gave me an inner peace that I still have today, and that keeps me going, that is the grace I received. Besides, I am reckless by nature, and so I move forward," he added with a smile.