At the 2009 Catholic Press Association national convention, Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, presented the Bernardin-O'Connor Award for Pro-life Journalism to three papers for articles on pro-life issues published last year.
The winners in each category were as follows:
Best Human Interest Pro-Life Story for 2008: Stepping Out of the Darkness: Awarded to Julie Carroll at The Catholic Spirit (Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis) - December 17, 2008
Best Pro-Life News Story for 2008: Euthanasia’s Misguided Appeal: Awarded to Sabrina Arena Ferrisi at Legatus Magazine - April 2008
Best Overall Pro-Life Feature for 2008: Flying High: Awarded to Kara Hansen at The Leaven (Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas) - December 12, 2008
The purpose of this award is to recognize and promote effective journalistic coverage of issues related to the sanctity of human life. Named after Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and John Cardinal O'Connor, the award is meant to highlight the fact that the Church embraces a consistent ethic of life, and that there is no basis for a dichotomy between "social justice" issues and "right to life" issues. There can be no social justice if the right to life itself is not secured, and there can be no effective safeguarding of the right to life if the human person is not treated with dignity at every stage of development and in every circumstance.
"The fundamental human right is the right to life--from the moment of conception until death. It is the source of all other rights... "
--Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, The Consistent Ethic of Life and Health Care Systems, Foster McGaw Triennial Conference, Loyola University of Chicago, May 8, 1985.
"Those who would seem to suggest... that the "consistent ethic of life" approach so well articulated by my good and valued friend, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago, differs in what it has to say about abortion from what some others of us are saying, including myself, simply do not understand Cardinal Bernardin, or me, or our mutual unconditional commitment to the life of the unborn and to life at every stage of its existence"
--Archbishop John J. O'Connor, Human Lives, Human Rights, October 15, 1984.