Msgr. Weisgerber’s interview with Fr. Tom Rosica of Salt + Light TV is now online.
You can view it here. The section of the interview which deals with the Development & Peace scandal occurs between 12:34-26:31.
The interview with Archbishop Weisgerber was recorded prior to the release of the CCCB’s report of its investigation into the pro-abortion advocacy partners of Development and Peace. The interview is peppered with the same outright denials of not only what has not been alleged (i.e. funding abortion services) but also of what has been alleged (i.e. funding abortion groups). Sadly, Msgr. Weisgerber does this throughout the interview, claiming there is “no evidence” to the allegations. In fact, at one point, he says that there is “no evidence that some of these websites (i.e. LSN) have even talked to the groups in question“. Of course, this is false as Matthew Hoffman, LSN’s main Latin American correspondent, has had several direct interviews with representatives of these pro-abortion organizations.
Once again, the Archbishop also tries to discredit the messenger by stating, “When things appear on websites, they have a truth simply because they are there.” Kris Dmytrenko of Salt + Light makes a similar claim in the blog post where the video is posted: “Archbishop James Weisgerber similarly cautioned against uncritical reading of online sources. Perhaps we’ve trained ourselves to believe that if information is published—even if it is self-published, like this blog post—then it must meet rigorous journalistic or academic standards. Understandably, we readily trust pro-life or faith-related media from like-minded authors.”
While the claim of the necessity of having rigorous journalistic standards goes without saying, the statements made by both of these gentlemen is made to try and discredit blogs and web-based news services like LSN simply because they don’t fit into the conventional “official news media”. That’s the implication of these absurd comments, the irony of which is not lost on Mr. Dmytrenko (note his comment above “like this blog post”).
First of all, it is the blogs and this “new media” that are at the forefront of exposing the corruption and lies of government and other civil and religious authorities. People familiar with the whole controversy of Human Rights Commissions in recent years can certainly attest to the power of the bloggers. So can Dan Rather. Remember him? And why did they go down? Because something was posted on a website or a blog?
Because it was true. Just like the allegations against Development & Peace are true. In fact, that’s why the “old media” and the authorities in question do not like the new media because they can no longer control if, or when, or how the message is conveyed.
But this is all beside the point: We do not give credence to a story simply because it is on a website, Msgr. Weisgerber. We give credence to a story based on 2 things: 1) the credibility of the organization making the allegations and 2) the actual evidence being presented. Both of these criteria are more than well established in investigating and reporting on Development & Peace’s abortion scandal. In fact, it is not LifeSiteNews that is going to have their reputation tarnished by this whole scandal when it is all said and done. No. Rather, it’s going to be those news organizations who have ignored the evidence and accepted at face value the denials of Development & Peace.
In fact, I invite Salt + Light to SHOW THE EVIDENCE that has been uncovered, and provide balance to their news coverage on this whole scandal which has, thusfar, been completely lopsided in favour of Development & Peace. Otherwise, next time there is a controversy in the Church, why would people turn to Salt + Light for the truth, if S&L is not going to, as Mr. Dmytrenko says, “meet rigorous journalistic or academic standards” in investigating a story?
Msgr. Weisgerber then continues on to question the identity of LSN and myself: “I don’t know these websites…I don’t know who owns them…who runs them…to whom they are accountable…” There is a subtle effort here by the Archbishop to drive a wedge between the pro-life Catholic community and LifeSiteNews by abusively invoking his episcopal authority. LifeSiteNews has been around since 1997 and their reporting is incredibly valuable to the pro-life community here in Canada and around the world. I’ve been around for many years in the pro-life, pro-family struggle. Despite this, the Archbishop incredibly asks “who are these groups?” The problem for the Archbishop, however, is not that people don’t know who we are. The problem is that we don’t know who HE IS – because he and most of his brother bishops have largely abdicated their leadership role in the pro-life struggle for the past 40 years ever since they judasized us with the Winnipeg Statement and continue, remarkable as it is, to make excuses for it and themselves.
Yet now that this whole abortion scandal has erupted, he wants to invoke his magisterial authority to deny the evidence and deny the Catholicity of those who dare to faithfully point to the scandalous evidence?
That takes a lot of episcopal chutzpah, if you ask me.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matt. 5:13)