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Catholic World News

Pro-life news agency barred from Canadian bishops' meeting

October 18, 2011

A reporter for the LifeSite News service was barred from attending a meeting of the Canadian bishops’ conference, in apparent retaliation for the outlet’s critical treatment of an anti-poverty program sponsored by the bishops’ conference.

John-Henry Westen, the editor of LifeSite News, was informed on arrival that he could not attend the bishops’ plenary meeting. The news agency had sent reporters to meetings of the bishops’ conference in past years.

A spokesman for the Canadian bishops’ conference informed Westen that his organization would no longer be welcome. “The leadership of our Conference has expressed serious concerns over the manner in which positions have been taken by your organization,” he said.

LifeSite News has been highly critical of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P), the anti-poverty campaign of the Canadian hierarchy. LifeSite News has charged that D&P has provided funding for groups involved in the promotion of legal abortion and same-sex marriage. The controversy—similar to the controversy surrounding the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in the US—has created considerable friction between the Canadian bishops’ conference and the pro-life news agency.

In 2009, the Canadian bishops’ conference issued a statement on the D&P controversy, saying that LifeSite News should engage in “frank and transparent dialogue” with representatives of the hierarchy to resolve the tensions. Westen charged that the bishops’ conference has “rejected every offer of dialogue we have made.”


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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Oct. 19, 2011 7:45 AM ET USA

    Their hiding reminds me, sortta, of our esteemed Senators, as they locked themselves in rooms at night to produce the great "death plan", oops, health plan of this administration. Wonder if they hang out together on weekends?

  • Posted by: kmbold - Oct. 19, 2011 2:15 AM ET USA

    How small can they get?

  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Oct. 18, 2011 9:06 PM ET USA

    Slamming the door on Lifesite? What a disgrace their Graces are. Do they really believe they can hide in plain sight?

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 18, 2011 2:22 PM ET USA

    Because as Billy Crystal said its how you look that's the most important thing.