April 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today’s top story about a huge, very positive development regarding one of the organizations funded by the Canadian bishops’ official development agency may not be of immediate interest to many LifeSiteNews readers. It is however a crucial story related to a 2-year saga that resulted in LifeSiteNews being slandered by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, certain individual bishops, various clergy and leaders of the agency, Development and Peace (CCODP).

We have published numerous reports over the past two years on our findings that CCODP has for years been sending millions of dollars of Catholic money to pro-abortion, often ideologically leftist and otherwise unworthy organizations around the world. Therefore, money collected from Canadian Catholics in special parish collections has often gone to organizations that, while possibly doing good work, have also been undermining life and family cultures in many nations. This has therefore been a matter of international concern. And as Matthew Hoffman’s report this week revealed, it is incredibly still happening.

We have always stood by every one of our reports since they have been carefully researched and based on indisputable evidence. That is the way LifeSiteNews works.

LifeSiteNews critics have countered with the tactics of slandering the credibility and reputation of this international news service, misrepresenting its reports and relying instead on statements from the implicated groups denying our evidence and conclusions. It has repeatedly been stated, “Who do you believe, the (Canadian) bishops or some websites”, as though that is a definitive response to all that the LifeSiteNews reports have revealed.

We just heard that one of our clergy critics recently stooped so low at a recent meeting as to say that LifeSiteNews “is run by one man in a basement in Northern Ontario.” I haven’t yet passed that one on to our Rome, Mexico, US, France, Chile and other Canadian staff and correspondents.

The whole saga has largely come down to evidence versus statements of denial - facts versus words. LifeSiteNews always relies on facts. We don’t give credibility to statements without checking into the validity and background of the statements - no matter who made the statements.

Ottawa Archbishop Prendergast must be praised and strongly supported for his action regarding the cancellation of Father Arriaga’s speaking series at church’s in the Ottawa diocese. The Archbishop took the evidence seriously and personally investigated it, finding our concerns warranted. It could not have been easy for him to do this, considering the heavy pressure to do otherwise. It took courage and much conviction - which is what we hope and pray to see from every religious leader. God bless him.

Now I hope the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will revisit their original report on the Mexican groups and correct the very wrong conclusions of that report. We also hope that the bishops’ current review of Development and Peace will result in genuine major improvements to the procedures and management of the organization. Thorough reform is needed so that CCODP will from now on only support groups that in no way contradict genuine Catholic principles on life and family or in no way undermine the efforts of local, faithful Church leaders in the developing world.

The poor in developing nations need real help from Christian organizations rather than social engineering and political agitation efforts from groups using foreign Catholic money.