TORONTO, March 26, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Catholic Register, published out of Canada’s largest diocese, has denounced Development and Peace for its document, revealed by LifeSiteNews on March17, that disparaged LifeSiteNews, Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) and the international pro-life movement in general. The Register also published a report by Deborah Gyapong in the same edition that included comments by D&P executive director Michael Casey confirming that D&P did in fact send to D&P stakeholders the harshly worded document that Casey said was “regrettably, unfortunately” made public.
The Register lead editorial, titled “Poor Judgement” and dated March 25 on its website, states, “D&P seems to have lost its way. How else to explain its bizarre document recently leaked to the public that is rife with misrepresentation and distortion as it disparages the respected Catholic pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition.”
CLC, which reports that it has clarified to the Register that it is not a Catholic organization, has vigorously reacted to the D&P document with an article in its April newsletter.
The Register editorial goes on to bluntly question, “How else to explain the hypocrisy of D&P itself resorting to an ugly smear campaign when just a year ago the overseas development agency was crying foul over alleged assaults on its integrity that, they cried, were fuelled by slander and unfounded accusations?”
The editorial makes serious charges against D&P stating, “What is regrettable and unfortunate is that the overseas development arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops would resort to name-calling, concoction, half-truths and, a lawyer might argue, defamation, to undermine the difficult work of Canada’s most effective anti-abortion organization.
“The most contentious D&P claim among several odd statements is an outrageous and unsupportable suggestion that Campaign Life sympathizes with the tactics of radical anti-abortion groups that use violence to achieve objectives. That is patently false, as even Casey has admitted. Yet the D&P document categorically states Campaign Life is a ‘militant’ organization… “
The CCCB report on the initial LifeSiteNews articles revealing involvement in abortion advocacy by five D&P Mexican “partners” is referred to in the editorial as “a report woefully bereft of detail.” It explains, “Regrettably, though, the bishops failed to explicitly address evidence that raised worrisome questions” about the D&P partners. “Therefore, in many minds, the issue was unresolved. Since then more unsettling claims about D&P partners in other countries have surfaced.”
While explaining that the additional claims appeared in “a series of articles on LifeSiteNews.com“, the editorial takes somewhat of a swipe at LifeSiteNews in referring to it as a “strident family-issues web site,” rather than the respected international life, family and culture issues news service that most international life and family organization leaders consider it to be.
The editorial concludes by charging, “it seems imprudent for D&P to be suggesting now that all of last year’s allegations were unfounded and the result of a smear campaign against them. And very odd, indeed, to start smearing others and, in the process, re-opening a discussion about its overseas operations. “
The article by Deborah Gyapong regarding the D&P document, said by the Register to include “name-calling, concoction, half-truths” and “defamation” of the pro-life groups, is provocatively titled, “D&P, LifeSite rev up their online war“.
Campaign Life Coalition national organizer Mary-Ellen Douglas, who emphasized to LifeSiteNews that CLC is a pro-life, rather than “anti-abortion” organization, since it acts on a wide variety of life and family issues beyond abortion, said to Gyapong of the D&P document, “The language is hateful.”
The Register also reports that “Campaign Life has consistently and steadfastly denounced violence throughout its 32 years,” which is the identical emphasis that LifeSiteNews has reflected in its news reports on the issue since its founding in 1997.