.- In a ceremony today, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg was awarded the Van Thuan Prize, an award given to those who have distinguished themselves in the promotion and defense of human rights.
Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henry I made headlines last December for refusing to approve a decision by his country’s House of Representatives to legalize euthanasia due to reasons of conscience.
In wake of the rejection, the country’s Parliament modified the Constitution to limit the Duke’s power before making Luxembourg the third country in the EU to legally allow euthanasia.
Henry I received the award today at Palazzo Colonna in Rome on the seventh anniversary of the death of Cardinal Francois- Xavier Van Thuan, a Vietnamese cardinal who spent 13 years in a Vietnamese prison because of his faith.
Cardinal Van Thuan’s beautification cause was opened in 2007.
Also being presented are four Van Thuan Solidarity and Development Prizes.
The recipients of the prizes are: the Skills Development Centre for the Blind run by Fr. Carlo Velardo S.D.B. in Pakkred, Thailand; the ALAS project of the "Caminos de Libertad" Foundation in the archdiocese of Bogota, Colombia, for the building of a national center for pastoral care in penitentiaries; the non-profit organization, "Cooperazione Missionaria e Sviluppo" run by Msgr. Andrea Vece at the Our Lady of Fatima parish in Salerno, Italy; and finally “ROCHER L'oasis des cites", an association dedicated to educational and social projects at the service of inhabitants of "difficult" neighborhoods of French cities.