Pope Awards Highest Honor to EWTN Founder Mother Angelica and Chairman
EWTN has consistently given high priority to uncompromising support for Catholic moral principles and the pro-life movement.
IRONDALE, AL, October 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has awarded EWTN foundress, Mother Mary Angelica, and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, Chairman of EWTN’s Board of Governors, the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to the Church. The medal, officially known as “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” (literally “For the Church and the Pope”), is the highest honor that the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious.
The acknowledgement of Mother Angelica’s work by the Pope is highly significant in light of high profile criticism that the EWTN foundress has sustained over her unwavering fidelity to the faith. Mother Angelica had to endure crushing criticism and even attempts to take over her station by various left-leaning Catholic bishops in the United States.
As Catholic League President Bill Donohue wrote in a 2005 review of Raymond Arroyo’s nationally best-selling book on Mother Angelica, some bishops actively fought EWTN at its inception. “Indeed, the bishops tried to outdo her by launching their own effort, the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America (CTNA). It was clear from the beginning that Mother Angelica was seen as a threat: EWTN had a traditional orientation and CTNA took a modernist stance. EWTN won. CTNA collapsed.”