Monday, March 22, 2010

LifeSiteNews is Under Attack


I'm sending them my donation today. And will never again support the CCODP ("Development and Peace")--unless they repent, reform, and totally clean house. (Fat chance.)

The truth cannot be suppressed, and shame on anyone who tries to do so. Keep in mind that Development and Peace:
1) is the baby of the CCCB (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops)
2) is powerful and well-connected
3) has a large political bureaucracy with a left-wing agenda
4) stands to lose financially if the truth is known (and that, I believe, is their main concern)

Tellingly, those who operate LSN (and CLC) are Catholics faithful to the Magisterium; D&P? not so much...

Do read the entire piece. It's all here. But you need to go to LSN's site for the links.

Zenit declines LSN ad

Dear readers,

This letter is hard to write. We are under attack - a sustained and focused attack, and need your help and support at this time. Let me explain.

The executives of Development & Peace, the official international development organization of the Canadian Bishops' Conference, have issued a verbal barrage of assaults against that is having adverse and tangible effects on our organization.

Over the last year we have watched the heads of D&P unabashedly deny dozens of incontrovertible pieces of evidence proving they have been using Catholic donations to fund pro-abortion groups.

And now, in the most recent part of the saga, D&P has released a document, "Questioning Development and Peace," in which they not only again totally deny the evidence, which can only be described as irrefutable, but also slander LifeSiteNews.

D&P writes, in reference to LifeSiteNews and another pro-life organization, Campaign Life Coalition, that, "These groups are part of the far right wing fringe element of North American society and have themselves been associated with groups and individuals who have resorted to violence to publicize their cause and achieve their objective."

What kind of language is that? What does the reckless proclamation of such harsh and completely unfounded charges say about those who are making them? Remember, this is supposed to be an official arm of the Canadian Bishops' Conference!

One of the questions the D&P document posed was, "Are any of these charges against DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE founded?" The response was, "Absolutely not!"

Despite volumes of compelling Internet, photographic, and direct interview evidence, this situation remains unresolved, and we are amazingly still being attacked for allegedly misrepresenting the truth. From the beginning of our investigative reports we have linked to direct evidence of pro-abortion advocacy by the groups in receipt of D&P funds. Most of those links remain active.

In addition, we have interviewed employees of these organizations, such as the director of one D&P South African partner, who told LSN: "We believe in reproductive rights, we believe in the right of women to control their own bodies and make their own decisions about abortions, as an organization." Another employee of the same organization told LSN that her group is on the steering committee of a coalition called the Reproductive Rights Alliance, and is pushing for greater access to abortion in South Africa!

However, reason and facts appear to be making no impression whatever upon the remarkably intransigent leadership of D&P and its proponents, who are sowing considerable confusion among the faithful.

Unfortunately, Development and Peace has a far greater access to Canadian Catholic Church institutions, publications and parishes across Canada than does LifeSiteNews. They are also networked internationally to other Church media and institutions. The vast majority of these have not read the LifeSiteNews reports on D&P and therefore, in most cases, have sadly mistakenly accepted the outrageous D&P claims at face value.

Also, most bishops in the country also have still not seen the LifeSiteNews evidence and are merely accepting the word of D&P that all the allegations against them are unfounded.

Our sure conviction on this controversy, which has gone on for over a year now, is that this is at heart a spiritual battle. It makes no sense otherwise. The persistent vehemence of D&P's denials of the obvious and its propensity to attack the character and credibility of its critics speaks volumes.

And while we are used to this sort of backlash, remain in peace, and proudly stand on the side of Truth, their scathing attack is affecting our ability to run this news service.

Additionally, there are other negative results of the determined slander campaign. One of these is the very sensitive issue of Zenit News agency refusing to run a paid ad for LifeSiteNews. This was totally unexpected and is painful to report.

Late last year Zenit, with whom we have always had a positive relationship, began a new program of adding a paid ad to the top of their daily news email to their hundreds of thousands of subscribers. We immediately saw this as a great opportunity to expand our readership into a market that would likely be very receptive to our news service.

Here is the ad text that we placed into Zenit's automated ad creation system:

Title: "Indispensible" News on Life, Family, Culture

Text: Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, Human Life International - "LifeSiteNews is literally the best and most reliable source of information on the Church as it engages in mortal combat with the culture of death."

Austin Ruse, C-Fam - LifeSiteNews is "indispensible."

News on our website or free daily news emails - comprehensive, truthful, faithful to Catholic principles.


When the Jan. 11 date came on which our ad was supposed to show, the ad was surprisingly not there.

I called Zenit and to my shock learned that it had been declined, although we were never advised of this. When I spoke with Zenit's US Bureau Chief and asked the reasons behind their decision, which I found odd since they have used LifeSiteNews stories in the past, she told me it was based on our conflicts with various bishops over D&P. A number of calls and respectful emails to Zenit management for further clarification received no response.

And yet, Zenit had published an article on the D&P controversy written by Salt&Life television, which is managed by Fr, Tom Rosica who has been a severe critic of our reports. Zenit did not contact LSN for our side of this issue or publish any of our reports on it - even the one from the Peruvian bishops pleading for a halt to D&P funding of pro-abortion groups in their country.

However, it is not my intention to point fingers at Zenit. They are an excellent service to the Catholic Church and we still hold them in high regard. But this situation is important to mention because it demonstrates the continuing negative effect of the campaign by Development and Peace and it allies to poison others with unfounded information, unjustly malign our reputation and divert attention away from the facts.

We have also received fewer donations than expected over the course of this crucial fundraising campaign, and some of our previous donors have informed us that it is due to their confusion over the Development & Peace scandal. For this reason we are asking your help and need you to make a financial gift to LifeSiteNews if you have not already done so.

I want to thank those of you who have stood with us on the side of truth throughout this whole ordeal. I know that this is not an easy thing to do when certain members of the Catholic Church and, of course, an organization as large as D&P have publicly denounced us.

Canada and the world have seen enough of scandals being covered up in the church, and the disastrous consequences that follow. The truth must be revealed.

As French theologian Godefroid de Fontaines put it: "It is better to preserve the truth, even at the cost of a scandal than to let it be suppressed through fear of a scandal."

I know that many of you have donated already and we are so thankful that you responded to our call. Please forgive us for sending these appeal letters to you even after you have donated. This is in no way a sign of ungratefulness on our part - we simply send all communications to our entire list.

If any of you are yet to donate, or can spare another contribution, please do not hesitate. Development and Peace's strategy of trashing anyone who questions their sending of Catholic funds to unworthy groups is seemingly working.

And if you can, respectfully communicate with the Catholic bishop in your region, preferably by letter, to ask that D&P be reigned in and reformed, that too would be greatly appreciated.

More than ever, we need your continued support to carry on this mission of exposing this and other grave scandals.

John-Henry Westen

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief

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