Cardinal Michael Czerny receives the Klaus Hemmerle Award 2024

© Martin Felder

The Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Michael Czerny, traveled to Germany to receive the Klaus Hemmerle 2024 Award.

The ceremony took place on Friday, January 26, in the Cathedral of Aachen and the award was presented by the rector of the Munich University of Philosophy, Prof. Dr. Johannes Wallacher.

Receiving the Klaus Hemmerle Award, Cardinal Czerny invited to "shift our focus from profit to prosperity, from economic growth to sustainable prosperity and from materiality to human dignity" and thanked the people present for playing "a crucial role in shaping new logics that can protect our fragile environment and empower our fragmented communities."



The Klaus Hemmerle Award is presented every two years to people who, like the former Bishop of Aachen, Klaus Hemmerle (1929-1994), have worked as bridge builders in the church and the society.

Since 2004, the Focolare Movement has presented this award to personalities who have made outstanding contributions as bridge builders and who, in a special way, promote dialogue between churches, religions and different worldviews.

In its decision, the jury emphasized Czerny's tireless commitment to human dignity and human rights and his invitation to "accept differences and learn from other cultures" in order to build "a more just world".

Previous winners of the Klaus Hemmerle Award have been: Jewish Professor Dr. Ernst-Ludwig Ehrlich (2004); former President of the Lutheran World Federation, Bishop i. R. Dr. Christian Krause (2006); Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (2008); Dr. Alfons Nossol, Archbishop Emeritus of Opole, Poland (2010); former Bavarian Minister of Culture and long-time chairman of the Central Committee of the German Catholics, Prof. Dr. Hans Maier (2012); leper physician Dr. Ruth Pfau (2014); Muslim AIDS doctor Dr. Noorjehan Abdul Majid of Mozambique (2016); Rabbi Dr. Henry Brandt of Augsburg (2018); Orthodox Archbishop Anastasios Yannoulatos of Albania (2020) and in 2022 the former Prime Minister of Poland, Prof. Dr. Hannah Suchocka.  

Presentation of ”Siblings All, Sign of the Times: The Social Teaching of Pope Francis"

On the morning of Friday, January 26, Cardinal Czerny participated in an academic meeting on the social teachings of the Church at the Kommende Dortmund educational institute. During the event, the Prefect presented the book "Siblings All, Sign of the Times: The Social Teaching of Pope Francis" ("Wir sind alle Geschwister - das Zeichen der Zeit: Die Soziallehre von Papst Franziskus").

"This book relates Francis' entire social Magisterium to the statements of the Second Vatican Council, on the one hand. On the other, it offers a reasoned and profound analysis of Pope Francis’s Encyclical, Fratelli tutti which, in this time of serious conflicts. proves prophetic and topical as never before", Cardinal Czerny said at the presentation.


During his trip to Germany, Cardinal Michael Czerny also presided at a Mass in the Cathedral of Aachen, met with some German bishops with whom he discussed the social teaching of Pope Francis and met in Limburg with the President of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing.

25 January 2024