The award is titled “Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice” (for Church and Pope) and it was presented to Ken for his many years of service to the pro-life movement and for his services to the Catholic church.
This is the highest honour which the Catholic church can bestow upon a lay person (that is a person who is not a clergyman).
Kenneth Alfred Orr has been involved in the struggle to uphold and defend life from conception from the early 1970s until the present day. As well as being a long time committee member of Right to Life since its founding in 1999, he was formerly a National Executive member in the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child.
He has been persistent and courageous in the face of unremitting hostility from those who seek to deny the pro-life message. He has not given up the battle despite many personal attacks upon himself, involving vilification and hostility.
In addition to maintaining the Society newsletter, acting as spokesman for Right to Life and political lobbying, Ken has been instrumental in bringing the court case against the Abortion Supervisory Committee, in order to try to uphold the current law and gain some legal protection for the unborn children in New Zealand.
Ken has also served as a reader and minister of the Eucharist in his parish, and has been involved in assisting a single mother materially. He is a member of the Carmelite third order and is a man of prayer and hospitality. He is also a family man, married to Aleida for over thirty years, and the father of four and grandfather to two children. One of his sons is a priest in the Christchurch diocese.
Our society congratulates Ken Orr for this honour bestowed upon him, and wishes him many graces and blessings from this recognition for his work for the most marginalized and defenceless of people – unborn children.
In accepting his award, Ken stated that he regarded the medal as recognition not only for himself, but for all of the people in the pro-life movement who work to save the unborn children.
President Right to Life New Zealand