OTTAWA, July 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Last week LifeSiteNews.com co-founders Steve Jalsevac and John-Henry Westen responded to the request contained in a recent report from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to have a “frank and transparent dialogue.” Jalsevac and Westen offered “to make a brief 15-minute presentation and be available to answer questions for as long as the Bishops wish, at the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops in Cornwall this October.” The bishops will meet in Cornwall from October 19-23 with the subject of LifeSiteNews.com and Development and Peace on the schedule.
The official report of the Committee of Inquiry of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops was publicly released June 29th. Bishops Martin Currie and François Lapierre, co-authors of the report, stated: “We make an urgent appeal to the leadership of Lifesite News that it establish an open and fruitful dialogue …We also hope there will be a means for frank and transparent dialogue between Lifesite and the Bishops of Canada.”
"We gratefully accept this offer of dialogue,” said Jalsevac and Westen. “As from the beginning of this matter, LifeSiteNews.com policy is to remain open and eager for dialogue with the bishops of Canada. We hope and pray to be able to assist in any way to facilitate an informed and just conclusion to the very serious issues at stake in this matter regarding Development and Peace.”
The LifeSiteNews.com letter noted that, “In addition to personally speaking with several bishops on the matter - some of whom were very critical of our reports - we offered to be available to answer questions from bishops at the March 30 – April 1 meeting of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops - an offer that was politely declined.”
The letter noted that in the interest of transparency the offer would be made public. It concluded: “We hope to hear back from you on this offer of dialogue, and just as we have and continue to pray for the bishops of Canada we ask for your prayers as we seek to do God’s will in all things.”
On July 27, LifeSiteNews received a response from Msgr. Paquette, the General Secretary of the CCCB in which he advised, although "the agenda of the Plenary Assembly has already been set ... the Executive Committee of the Conference meets in September" and the LifeSiteNews "willingness to continue these discussions will be brought to their attention at that time."