Pope Francis Nominated For 2015 Nobel Peace Prize

Pope Francis is among the nominees for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. According to Reuters, other nominees include a Catholic priest who helps African migrants, embattled NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and a Russian newspaper that is heavily critical of one of last year’s nominees, President Vladimir Putin.

Although the Norwegian Nobel Institute refrains from publishing names of Peace Prize nominees, Norwegian experts take it upon themselves to compile lists.

Pope Francis has been nominated for his focus on social justice and his concern for the environment, while Father Mussie Zerai, a Catholic priest of Eritrean descent has been nominated for the Peace Prize for his efforts to aid many of the thousands of African migrants who seek freedom by risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean.

Edward Snowden, a former spy agency contractor for the U.S., has been nominated for leaking details of U.S. electronic surveillance and showing how monitoring is undertaken with few democratic controls. Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta has been nominated for its work to expose political corruption.

Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of Oslo’s Peace Research Institute, placed Pope Francis at the top of his list of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominees, but told a reporter that Father Mussie Zerai is his favorite for 2015.

“The migration crisis is worsening day by day,” he said.

Novaya Gazeta is Harpviken’s second-favorite. Such an award, he said, “would also more widely speak to the issue of media freedom” following the Islamist attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last month.

Although Pope Francis was nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, it was awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

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According to Christian Today, Pope Francis would be the first pontiff ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize in the event the honor does go to him.

There are thousands of people, including all members of the world’s parliaments, that can make nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, and the names of those who make nominations are kept secret. According to the official website of the Nobel Prize, the names of those nominees who did not win and other information concerning nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years have passed, meaning details about all of this year’s nominations including that of Pope Francis will not be revealed until 2065.

The $1.2 million Nobel award will be announced in October. Pope Francis will continue shepherding his flock and has plans to visit Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo, in June.

Pope Francis announces he will Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, on June 6… http://t.co/O4fs6ZXD7r #medjugorje pic.twitter.com/oj7rpGQ9Em

— MEDJUGORJE UK (@medjugorjeuk) February 1, 2015

[Pope Francis Image courtesy of Reddit]