LOS ANGELES (CWN) - The Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch was among 67 men and women in southern California awarded a papal honor on Sunday, but Murdoch's inclusion raised the ire of Catholics who object to the products of his media empire.

      Other prominent recipients of the Knights and Dames of St. Gregory the Great honor included the entertainer Bob Hope and his wife, Dolores, and Roy Disney, vice chairman of the Walt Disney Co. Murdoch, who is not Catholic, was honored for his philanthropy toward a Catholic education foundation, but critics said the News Corp. chairman flaunted Catholic teaching in his "sex-filled" British tabloid newspapers and through the racy shows on the Fox television network.

      A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles argued the controversy surrounding Murdoch should not cancel the fact that he has done "a great deal of good through his charitable works and philanthropy." Candidates for award are nominated by their dioceses in southern California for their work in the region and then Pope John Paul confirms the appointments.

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January 13, 1998 volume 9, no. 13          DAILY CATHOLIC