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.” (Source)
Who was the brain-wave who came up with this bright idea at the CCCB, anyway? Can’t be the sharpest tack in the box. You’d think that after the problems with transparency the Catholic hierarchy has had on so many issues lately, they’d learn their lesson by now. But, you know, as the saying goes, sin makes you stupid.