The Vatican offered its appreciation today for President Barack Obama’s work for peace on the international level, following the announcement that the president the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told L’Osservatore Romano that President Obama’s reception of the award “is greeted with appreciation by the Vatican” due to his efforts “to promote peace in the international arena, particularly in the recent effort in favor of the nuclear disarmament."
Fr. Lombardi also said that he hopes that the honor “may generate the expected results for the future of humanity.”
Reacting to the award, President Obama stated that it isn’t necessarily “a recognition of my own accomplishments,” but rather a “call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.”
Fox News reported that the award committee chose the President due to his work to reduce nuclear weapons, his commitment to easing tensions with the Middle East and his dedication to cooperation.
The chairman of the Norwegian committee charged with choosing the peace prize recipient, Thorbjoern Jagland, said that although the president’s initiatives have yet to bear fruit, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.”
In his statement today, the president also said he does not feel that he deserves “to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize.”
Previous winners of the award include Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Theodore Roosevelt, Elie Wiesel and Jimmy Carter.