The Editors

LifeSiteNews is being sued for $500,000 - this could shut us down!

The Editors
The Editors
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It is with great concern that we have to inform our readers that LifeSiteNews (LSN) Canada has been hit with a lawsuit – by a Catholic priest of all things!

Regular readers of LSN will need no introduction to Fr. Raymond Gravel – he’s the Quebec priest and former Member of Canada’s Parliament who stated on a radio interview in 2004: “I am pro-choice and there is not a bishop on earth that will prevent me from receiving Communion, not even the Pope.”

Then, in 2008, he defended the awarding of Canada’s highest civilian award to the country’s ‘father of abortion’ – arch-abortionist Henry Morgentaler! During his political career he was rated as ‘pro-abortion’ by the political arm of the pro-life movement. He has also repeatedly and publicly criticized his church’s teachings on homosexuality and abortion.

Even though LifeSiteNews reports have overwhelmingly reported on what Fr. Gravel himself has publicly said, he is suing us for libel. Among other things, he argues that he isn’t pro-abortion, but he has said in the past that he is “pro-choice.”

He’s demanding $500,000 in damages – which, coincidentally, is a full year’s budget for us. That would put LifeSiteNews out of business!

Will you stand with us at this time as we fight this lawsuit?

U.S. and International donors click here to donate

Canadian donors click here to donate

It is difficult enough for LifeSiteNews to keep afloat financially, even at the best of times. But with the downturn in the economy it has become harder than ever. Fighting this lawsuit adds a potentially very large and currently impossible extra financial burden.

At LSN we are completely dependent upon Divine Providence; we usually have just enough in our bank account to get by until our next quarterly fundraiser (if even!). We simply have no money to spend on potentially crippling legal fees.

This lawsuit also comes at the same time that attacks on the free speech rights of pro-life, pro-family and Christian citizens and media have been increasing all across the West.

It is vitally important that LifeSiteNews win this case – not just for our sake, but for the sake of the whole movement. We simply cannot let the opponents of life and family shut down one of the few media voices that upholds the right to life and the sanctity of marriage and the family.

The very fact that Fr. Gravel feels he has to sue LSN is proof-positive of just how much LSN is needed. Writing about LifeSiteNews.com in Le Devoir on April 20, 2009, Fr. Gravel said that when his bishop received a letter from the Vatican “which forced me to retire from political life,” attached to the letter “was a file almost exclusively in English made up of negative comments about me … which came from those ultra-conservative media.” He even complained about LifeSiteNews during a speech on the floor of the House of Commons!

And then, more recently, Fr. Gravel was removed from a position as a chief catechist for his diocese. In his motion Fr. Gravel suggests that the articles by LSN caused him to lose this responsibility.

Despite the fact that LSN has made it clear that we wish no harm to Fr. Gravel, and that, in fact, we are concerned for his wellbeing, he has launched a suit that could severely, even permanently disrupt our life- and culture-saving work.

Already our staff have had to dedicate several full days’ work just to responding to his charges – and that’s before the case has even really begun.  The first preliminary hearing is this Thursday in Joliette, Quebec.

While the amazing Thomas More Society of Chicago has offered to help us in this case, there is only so much they can do. The case will have to be fought in the Quebec courts, and the Thomas More Society is a U.S.-based organization.

Thus, we have been forced to hire professional Canadian legal help. And as anyone who knows the first thing about lawsuits knows, legal fees can mount…fast.

At this difficult time, we must once again turn to our ever-faithful supporters. The only way we can withstand this attack is with your help.

We are confident about the truthfulness and professionalism of our reporting on this matter and are determined to fight and win against this unjust lawsuit. Will you join us?

Will you also appeal to others that you know to help us at this time of extra special need?

Please consider making a donation. And then - spread the word.

U.S. and International donors click here to donate

Canadian donors click here to donate

John-Henry Westen
Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief





Steve Jalsevac
Co-Founder and Managing Director.
LifeSiteNews.com


Note: Since this case is before the courts we have had to suspend reader commenting and restrict our own reporting on the case.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

The Editors
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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