Pope honors Ala. nun of Catholic television fame

IRONDALE, Ala. (AP) - The pope is honoring the Alabama nun who founded the Birmingham-based Eternal Word Television Network.

Pope Benedict XVI has awarded Mother Mary Angelica with the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to the Roman Catholic church.

It's the highest honor a pope can bestow.

The same honor went to Deacon Bill Steltemeier, chairman of the board of governors of the Eternal Word Television Network.

The Roman Catholic bishop for north Alabama presented the awards Sunday.

The 86-year-old Mother Angelica began the TV operation in the garage of a Birmingham monastery in 1981, and Steltemeier left his Tennessee law practice to help.

The EWTN Global Catholic Network now calls itself the world's largest religious media network.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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