Pope Francis gets support of George Clooney, Richard Gere and Salma Hayek

(U.S. actor George Clooney smiles as he arrives on the red carpet for the premiere of ''Gravity'' at the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice August 28, 2013. CREDIT: REUTERS/ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/FILES)

The meeting with Pope Francis was to focus on the young people meeting with him, but it was not surprising the international spotlight fell on George Clooney, Richard Gere and Salma Hayek who were there..

The actors and actress were honored before the Pope Francis with the Olive Medal of Peace in an event to promote the Scholas Occurrentes foundation on May 29.

In return, the A-listers, as major movie stars are referred to, have agreed to work as ambassadors for the foundation's arts projects, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Scholas Occurrentes, or "schools that meet," is a foundation that connects 400,000 schools and educational networks from various cultures and religions in 82 countries.

Clooney spoke to reporters in Italy and said it "was a wonderful experience and it's a wonderful program that Scholas Occurrentes runs, causing so many different religions to speak of inclusion, because we know that hatred and fundamentalist attitudes are learned and indoctrinated."

Scholas Occurrentes often utilizes social media campaigns to further its initiatives and has recognized the power that celebrities have in influencing people around the world.

"Important values can be transmitted by celebrities," said Lorena Bianchetti, an organizer of the event.

Amal Clooney the British-Lebanese activist lawyer joined her husband to meet Pope Francis, and Hayek was joined by husband Francois-Henri Pinault along with daughter Valentina.

Vatican Radio said, "The meeting aims to mark the beginning of an interactive initiative launched by Scholas Occurentes with the creation of a website, askpopefrancis.scholasoccurrentes.org where it will be possible to put questions to Pope Francis."

The Pope's Instagram account included a photo with the quote: "To dialogue means to be able to listen, to put ourselves in someone else's place, to build bridges."

The pontiff's meeting with the foundation followed a three-day gathering of representatives from across the globe. Pope Francis autographed surfboards and held an informal Q&A session.

One girl asked Francis how to make the world a better place and Francis said by "lowering the level of violence."

A young Mexican girl spoke of how she was harassed at school, another young student talked of a letter sent to her by a sister working in Africa which contained photographs of children who had been abused.

In both of cases, said the Pope, children and adolescents suffer the same type of "cruelty," that is why our world, he continued "needs to listen, needs gentleness, so we can all walk together."

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