Trailblazing Cardinal Recognized for Leading Movement to Protect Religious Freedom
April 9, 2013
cardinal Timothy Dolan to Receive 2013 William Wilberforce Award For His Work to Protect People of Faith From “Immoral” Elements of HHS Mandate
(LANSDOWNE, VA) – During his first days as the Catholic Church’s new pontiff, Pope Francis visited the tombs of St. Peter and other early Christian martyrs who held strong in the face of persecution by Roman emperors, and preserved the right to practice their faith for millions to follow. Today in America, it might be said that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, is leading a modern-day journey of defiance, guiding the Christian faithful across the country to stand against unjust laws that marginalize their beliefs.
In recognition of Dolan’s efforts on behalf of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty in America, the cardinal—who also serves as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and who 60 Minutes dubbed “the American Pope” – will receive the 2013 William Wilberforce Award. The award is given by the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, a nonprofit organization that educates Christians on how to apply their faith to all areas of life.
The annual Wilberforce Award is presented to an individual who vividly exemplifies the passions and principles demonstrated by British 18th-century abolitionist and statesman William Wilberforce. Dolan is being honored for standing strong on a variety of issues, including his vocal, public stand against the HHS birth control and abortion-drug mandate. His argument that it is “immoral” and an attack on America’s “first and most-cherished freedom” has served as a rallying cry for people of faith fighting to preserve their God-given and constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.
“In a culture where the deeply cherished freedom of religion is suddenly under attack, Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan has emerged as a genuine hero,” said author and cultural commentator Eric Metaxas, who hosts the Colson Center’s daily BreakPoint radio commentary and will emcee the April 27 Wilberforce Award Reception and Dinner at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View hotel near Washington. “He has courageously but winsomely – and with indefatigable good cheer – rallied people of faith to nobly resist the unconscionable and un-American encroachment of the State upon the fragile flower of religious freedom.”
Established by the late Chuck Colson, the Wilberforce Award recognizes courageous leaders who are making an impact on the social ills of the day, showing perseverance and selflessness in combating injustice and making a positive change in the values and character of society.