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In 1993, Chicago’s Cardinal Joseph Bernardin made international headlines when he was accused by a former seminarian of sexual abuse. Over the months that followed he faced the accusations and often hostile media with a dignity and grace that brought the admiration of millions. Three years later, at the age of 68, he faced terminal cancer with the same dignity and grace.

Bernardin is a television documentary that examines the life of a man who helped define many of the critical issues facing the nation and how America stood with him as he was called to publicly define himself. It explores Joseph Bernardin’s rise to leadership in the American Catholic Church and his role in the creation of it’s anti-poverty programs and in the public debate on abortion and nuclear weapons. Around the ethical/moral life issues facing society, Cardinal Bernardin advocated a “consistent ethic of life” and later initiated a project of reconciliation called “Common Ground” – a healing legacy that transcends ideological boundaries.

Bernardin features insights from author Martin E. Marty, Kenneth Woodward of Newsweek, Richard Ostling of Time, Bernardin biographer Eugene Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist John H. White, and others.

57 minutes

Produced and directed by Frank Frost and Martin Doblemeier, in association with Family Theater Productions.

To purchase a DVD, please contact us directly at 703-556-8840 or