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Bishop John England Award

For Defending First Amendment Rights of the Publisher

Bishop John England was a renowned defender of religious liberty and a prodigious journalist and publisher who founded the first Catholic newspaper in the United State in 1837, The United States Catholic Miscellany, when he was bishop of Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1992, Catholic Press Association president Arthur McKenna inaugurated the Bishop John England Award for the Defense of Religious Freedom. The concept for the award originated with Father John Igoe, editor of One Voice, the diocesan newspaper of Birmingham, Alabama, who suggested that the CPA honor publishers who used the Catholic press to defend the rights of religion and individuals in a free society.


Most Recent Winners

2015:  Cardinal Francis George, Archdiocese of Chicago
2014:  Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
2013:  Most Rev. David D. Kagan of Bismarck, ND
2012:  Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester, NY
2011:  Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, OSB, of Indianapolis, IN


Criteria for Nomination

The recipient of the Bishop John England Awards should clearly have acted in their role as publisher and clearly have acted in defense of the publication or used their publications, in accordance with its mission, to defend the First Amendment rights of the publisher, the institution owning the publication, and/or the Church as a whole. The nominee may be a publisher with any CPA General Publisher membership, including digital-only member publications and their publishers. The award recipient may or may not be a cleric.


Procedure for Selection

Any CPA member can make a nomination during the submission period. The submission period is typically open January to February.

Once the nominating period is closed, a committee made of all living CPA past presidents will rank their top two choices for the award. The candidate with the most first place votes wins the award. In the event of a tie, the top candidate who received more second place votes will win.

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