A few days ago, we wrote about an apology issued by Development and Peace to Campaign Life Coalition for slanderous statements made back in March 2010. The Catholic Register also picked up this story and wrote an article entitled D&P apology to Campaign Life clears the air:
TORONTO – The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has formally apologized to Campaign Life Coalition for “inaccurate” statements in a memo that called the pro-life lobby part of “the far right fringe element of North American society,” linked Campaign Life with violent activists and accused it of misrepresenting facts and distorting reality to serve their ends.
Development and Peace formally retracted the statements in the memo and apologized in a June 30 letter to Campaign Life national president Jim Hughes.
“The issue has finally been cleared up,” said Hughes. (Source)
Although the article is balanced and generally presents the facts accurately, there is one non-trivial error that needs correcting. It relates to the distribution of the slanderous document:
The original memo, distributed internally in March to Development and Peace staff and national council members, was leaked and published online by LifeSiteNews.
This is incomplete at best. The slanderous document was distributed much more widely than reported here. An Ottawa priest who is a personal friend of John Pacheco received a copy of the document directly from Development and Peace, even though this priest has no involvement whatsoever with D&P. In fact, the document was received by many parishes in Ottawa. So the distribution was on a much grander scale than claimed above. It was probably an attempt by D&P to reach as many Catholics as possible with the hopes that the document would “go viral”.
This isn’t a trivial detail, because it suggests a concerted strategy to defame Campaign Life Coalition and LifeSiteNews. This gives you an idea of who’s running Development and Peace. The fact that the apology only came after D&P was threatened with a lawsuit would lead anyone to question their sincerity.