CCCB Plenary off to a horrendous start

Back in 2009 when the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) whitewashed Development and Peace of all wrong-doing, they also mentioned the importance of establishing “frank and transparent dialogue” with LifeSiteNews to avoid any future misunderstandings.

How does this strike you in terms of openness to dialogue: LifeSiteNews has just been banned from attending the bishops’ Plenary Assembly.

CORNWALL, Ontario, October 17, 2011 ( – After driving five hours to attend the Canadian bishops’ annual plenary assembly in Cornwall Monday, LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen was shocked to learn that he was barred from attending the public forum as a representative from the press.

Westen had just attended Mass with the bishops and other delegates at the NavCanada Centre, where the bishops will meet from Oct. 17-21, when he learned from CCCB media relations director René Laprise that LifeSiteNews’ application for media accreditation had been rejected.  The pro-life and pro-family news agency has attended the plenary meeting for the last two years.

Laprise communicated the rejection in an Oct. 13th e-mail that Westen never received, presumably being lost somewhere in cyberspace.“We regret to inform you that your request has been denied and you will not be granted access to this year’s meeting,” wrote Laprise.

“The leadership of our Conference has expressed serious concerns over the manner in which positions have been taken by your organization,” he continued.  “Our Executive Officers in turn have indicated that the CCCB Media Relations Officer should exercise caution in dealing with your organization.”

“It’s unfortunate that the executive made this decision,” said Westen.  “The public letter that the CCCB issued over Development & Peace back in 2009 made an ‘urgent appeal’ that LifeSite’s leadership establish a ‘frank and transparent dialogue’ with Canada’s bishops.  But they have since rejected every offer of dialogue we have made.”

“This latest rejection even of our media presence at this public forum is rather sad and shows a real unwillingness to countenance our presence let alone dialogue,” he added.

Your Graces, faithful Catholics sincerely  want to help edify the Church. But you’re making it so darn hard to take you seriously and to assume good faith.

You shut down dialogue with faithful Catholics while insisting on continuing partnerships with groups that oppose Church teaching. Any rational human being — Catholic or otherwise — would have trouble making any sense of it.

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