This letter is hard to write, and it is long, but we are sure you will find it compelling reading.
LifeSiteNews is under attack - a sustained and focused attack, and we need your help and support at this time. Let me explain.
Over the last year we witnessed the President of the United States manipulate and undermine the very system and society he was elected to defend. With the majority of the country opposing his health care bill, Obama has been willing to put his presidency on the line, not to mention democracy - in order to implement the ideology of extreme anti-life groups.
We published many revelations about the national and international dangers of the Obama presidency related to the issues of life, family, faith and culture. These revelations have caused some to view LifeSiteNews as being too negative and prone to sensationalism or having a political agenda - which we do not.
They refuse to believe that the presidency of this man, who appears so reasonable and concerned about the downtrodden, could actually be the subject of so many alarming reports.
We hoped that the facts would speak for themselves. However, the attractive image and inspiring, but too-often deceitful words of leaders such as Barack Obama, have in the past fooled the people of many nations. Hence LifeSiteNews is seen to be the bad guy - for merely reporting unwelcome and uncomfortable truths.
Last year we also saw Catholic Church officials in Massachusetts allow a scandalous near-canonization funeral for Ted Kennedy, arguably for many years the leading Catholic U.S. political proponent of abortion and same-sex 'marriage'.
The entire pro-life movement and many others were aghast that the Catholic Church would allow the funeral to be so blatantly used to idolize a man who was in many ways an arch-enemy of the Church, of life, of traditional morality. LifeSiteNews reported extensively on this scandal. For this we have received intense and still continuing backlash from some well-connected persons within the Church.
They are doing everything they can to falsely malign LifeSiteNews and its credibility and, it seems, have been spreading this poison everywhere they go. And they have been succeeding in convincing some people to believe their malicious propaganda.
And over the last year we have watched the executives of Development & Peace (D&P), the official international development organization of the Canadian Bishops' Conference, scandalously deny mounds of evidence proving they have been using Catholic donations to fund pro-abortion social justice groups.
In the most recent part of the saga, D&P has released a document, "Questioning Development and Peace," that significantly adds to their on-going verbal barrage of assaults against LifeSiteNews.com - a barrage that is having adverse and tangible effects on our organization.
D&P writes, in reference to LifeSiteNews and another pro-life organization, Campaign Life Coalition, that, "These groups are part of the far right wing fringe element of North American society and have themselves been associated with groups and individuals who have resorted to violence to publicize their cause and achieve their objective."
What does the reckless proclamation of such harsh and completely unfounded charges say about those who are making them? Remember, this is supposed to be an official arm of the Canadian Bishops' Conference!
Reason and facts appear to be making no impression whatever upon the intransigent leadership of D&P and its proponents, who are sowing considerable confusion among the faithful.
Despite volumes of compelling Internet, photographic, and direct interview evidence, this situation remains unresolved, and we are amazingly still being attacked for allegedly misrepresenting the truth.
Unfortunately, Development and Peace has a far greater access to Canadian Catholic Church institutions, publications, parishes and bishops across Canada than does LifeSiteNews. They are also networked internationally to other Church media and institutions. The vast majority of these have not read the LifeSiteNews reports on D&P and therefore, in most cases, have sadly mistakenly accepted the outrageous D&P claims at face value.
It is our obligation to continue with hard hitting news reports on the Obama administration's dangerous actions; on scandals such as the Kennedy funeral; and D&P and, in the US, CCHD funding of abortion advocacy groups, and in Rome, the Recife affair. However such reports have resulted in scathing assaults against LifeSiteNews.com and, in some cases, downright hatred.
Some who are startled by the influence of our reports and the loss of control over messaging and media they once had, are increasingly seeing LifeSiteNews as the enemy. Hence our motives and credibility are being attacked, while the solid facts in the reports are ignored or glossed over.
One result is that donations during this crucial fundraising campaign, a campaign we rely upon to sustain us until mid-June, have been lower than they should be. For instance, some of our previous donors have informed us that it is due to their confusion over the Development & Peace matter that they are not donating. They have never had to question the honesty of some notable Church representatives and find this difficult to deal with.
Additionally, there are other negative results of the determined slander campaign. An example of one of these is the very sensitive issue of Zenit News agency refusing to run a paid ad for LifeSiteNews. This was totally unexpected and is painful to report.
Late last year Zenit, with whom we have always had a positive relationship, began a new program of adding a paid ad to the top of their daily news email to their hundreds of thousands of subscribers in many nations. We immediately saw this as a great opportunity to expand our readership into an international market that would likely be very receptive to our news service.
Here is the ad text that we placed into Zenit's automated ad creation system:
Title: "Indispensible" News on Life, Family, Culture
Text: Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, Human Life International - "LifeSiteNews is literally the best and most reliable source of information on the Church as it engages in mortal combat with the culture of death."
Austin Ruse, C-Fam - LifeSiteNews is "indispensible."
News on our website or free daily news emails - comprehensive, truthful, faithful to Catholic principles.
When the Jan. 11 date came on which our ad was supposed to show, the ad was surprisingly not there.
I called Zenit and to my shock learned that it had been declined, although we were never advised of this. When I spoke with Zenit's US Bureau Chief and asked the reasons behind their decision, which I found odd since they have used LifeSiteNews stories in the past, she told me it was based on our conflicts with various bishops over D&P. A number of calls and respectful emails to Zenit management for further clarification received no response.
And yet, Zenit had published an article on the D&P controversy written by Salt&Life television, which is managed by Fr, Tom Rosica who has been a severe critic of our D&P reports. Zenit did not contact LSN for our side of this issue or publish any of our reports on it - even the one from the Peruvian bishops pleading for a halt to D&P funding of pro-abortion groups in their country - or the one about a D&P funded group backing a family planning bill intensely opposed by the bishops of the Phillipines.
However, it is not my intention to point fingers at Zenit. They are an excellent service to the Catholic Church, their staff are exceptional and we still hold them in high regard. But this situation is important to mention because it demonstrates the continuing negative effect of the campaign by Development and Peace and its allies to poison others with unfounded information, unjustly malign our reputation and divert attention away from the facts.
While we are used to verbal backlash, and proudly stand on the side of Truth, D&P's scathing attacks are truly costing us. We have been shut out of an important opportunity to reach a large international market of people who would very likely benefit from reading our reports and consequently bring about much needed cultural change.
I am sure that you can relate with me when I tell you that often times I feel powerless in this fight for the Truth. But at the end of the day, we both know where true power comes from.
We have also received fewer donations than expected over the course of this crucial fundraising campaign, and some of our previous donors have informed us that it is due to their confusion over some of the issues mentioned above.For this reason we are asking for your help and need you to make a financial gift to LifeSiteNews if you have not already done so.
Obama has shown he will not relent on his radical push for anti-life and anti-family measures. Some Church leaders have shown that they do not comprehend the great social and spiritual dangers of our times - the D&P and US CCHD scandals have demonstrated that more than a few within those organizations have no understanding of the Christian principles they supposedly strive to promote and would rather continue their "inadvertent" funding of pro-abortion and otherwise anti-Christian groups than admit the truth.
Simply put, if Obama, weak or even corrupt Church leaders and D&P or CCHD get their way, it is truth and the innocent who will suffer.
For the sake of all that is at stake, LifeSiteNews will continue to reveal and report the Truth, not what is politically correct or what pleases the largest number of people or what is safe. And we will continue to take the hits that come our way. The times we are in call for this.
As French theologian Godefroid de Fontaines put it: "It is better to preserve the truth, even at the cost of a scandal than to let it be suppressed through fear of a scandal."
But we need you to help us carry the burden because as we have described, the material means supporting this work are lacking.
I know that many of you have donated already and we are so thankful that you have responded to our call. Please forgive us for sending you these appeal letters even after you have donated. This is in no way a sign of ungratefulness on our part as we simply send all communications to our entire list.
If any of you are yet to donate, or can spare another contribution, please do not hesitate. Our critics' strategy of trashing anyone who dares to question their questionable deeds is seemingly working.
More than ever, we need your continued support to carry on this mission of exposing this and other grave scandals.
Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief