A Roman Catholic priest from Quebec, who once served as a Bloc Québécois MP, is suing an online evangelical “news” site, lifesitenews.com, for libel.
The BC Catholic reports:
Father Gravel, who is incardinated in the Diocese of Joliette, is
seeking $300,000 for the attack on his reputation and consequent pain
and suffering, and another $200,000 in punitive damages for what he
calls a voluntary, intentional and malicious attack.
“I am against abortion but lifesitenews.com says always I am for
abortion,” Father Gravel said. “The LifeSiteNews presents me, a priest,
Raymond Gravel was granted special permission by the Vatican to run for federal office in 2006. He blames reports in LifeSiteNews for a 2008 Vatican demand that he choose between politics and the priesthood.
Montreal newspaper La Presse reported that the Vatican received
complaints from some Catholics who were not happy with positions Gravel
took as an MP.
The complaints stemmed from his support for Dr Henry Morgentaler’s
nomination to the Order of Canada and his opposition to Bill C-484, a
piece of legislation on crimes committed against pregnant women.
While LifeSiteNews never links to Xtra, the anti-gay, anti-choice site regularly cites us as its source for “homosexualist” news.
In a 31-page statement filed with the Quebec Superior Court,
Father Gravel asserts that he has been a Catholic priest for 25 years
and has always been faithful to the magisterium of the church.
Father Gravel contends in his statement that the smear
campaign against him began in 2003 when he wrote an open letter
criticizing a Vatican document that said respect for homosexual persons
cannot lead to approval of homosexual behaviour or legal recognition of
homosexual unions. Father Gravel disagreed, saying the position of the church is discriminatory and hurtful.
The site’s editors have launched a fundraising campaign, warning the suit could shut them down permanently.
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 well-being, he has
launched a suit that could severely, even permanently, disrupt our life- and culture-saving work.