Friday, March 16, 2012

Canadian Priest Sues LifeSite News For Defamation

LifeSite News yesterday reported on a $500,000 defamation lawsuit filed in 2011 against it and five of its staff in Canada by Quebec Catholic priest and former member of Parliament, Raymond Gravel.  Apparently Gravel objects to articles published online by LifeSite News that describe him as being "pro-abortion." Examples of the articles can be found here and here. Fr. Gravel is a critic of the Church's teachings on homosexuality, and apparently describes himself as "pro-choice" on abortion. LifeSite News says that defending the suit will cost it $130,000. Apparently LifeSite News' primary defense is that Gravel has contributed significantly to his own damages by granting interviews in which he repeats the statements that he claims are defamatory. It argues that he has fueled his own reputation, and that LifeSite News was not responsible for his decision to leave politics. LifeSite News has also counterclaimed for damages against Gravel.  Available details on the parties' claims are sketchy at this point.