Hollywood actors Richard Gere, George Clooney and Salma Hayek on Sunday received medals from Pope Francis on Sunday in a drive to promote Scholas Occurrentes, a foundation that works towards social integration and cultural peace, reported Reuters. The actors will be ambassadors promoting one of the foundation's arts initiatives.

The foundation, whose name means "schools that meet" in Spanish, links technology to the arts to achieve its goals. The organisation is inspired by a similar body created by the pope when he was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires. It is an international organisation now, which is based out of the Vatican. "Important values can be transmitted by celebrities," said one of the organiers, Lorena Bianchetti.