Today, Fr. Raymond Gravel published a document on his website explaining why he is suing LifeSiteNews.com. I have translated it here, remaining as close as possible to the French words and phraseology:
Why is Raymond Gravel suing Lifesitenews.com?
Recently, we have seen on t.v. and read in the papers that Raymond Gravel is suing the operators and journalists of Lifesitenews.com website (LSN) for defamation, contempt and incitement to hatred. Many people do not understand how a priest who preaches the Gospel can sue a Catholic movement. For almost eight years, many articles of a defamatory character have been published on that website and have misinformed the population about me. I have allowed them, on numerous occasions, to correct or retract their incriminating articles, by forwarding my texts translatied in English so that they could publish them on their site. Which was never done. On the contrary, they invited their readers to denounce me to religious authorities, from my bishop all the way up to the Vatican, by way of the Apostolic Nuncio in Ottawa. This website is consulted quite a lot by Christians in Canada and the United States. I receive hundreds of emails and letters, the one more abusive than the last and I am the target of constant harassment from Catholics who consult that website.
Other people and organizations have equally been the victims of injustice. Development and Peace, an organization of the Catholic bishops of Canada, was also falsely accused of financing abortion clinics in Mexico. These false allegations have made Development and Peace lose quite a number of donations. The Salt and Light Network, whose head is Fr. Thomas Rosica, was also the target of libel by LSN. Closer to home, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte was denounced for his stance on abortion. Therefore, I decide to launch a lawsuit for defamation in order to establish the justice and truth about me.
It is true that the Gospel invites us all to [practice] pardon, mercy and love.I do not in any way deny these values that come from Christ in the Gospel. Does not Jesus say "Happy are those who are persecuted for justice, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven " (Mt: 5:10)? It must be understood that if there are those who are persecuted for justice it is no doubt because they have struggled for justice; otherwise, they would have never been persecuted. Jesus, did he himself not clean house in the Temple of Jerusalem before his death?
I believe sincerely in pardon, mercy and unconditional love. But this does not negate the duty that we have to establish justice and expose the truth. It's a question of dignity, and when this is violated, we must do everything to restore it.
Many people have shared their sympathy with me during this struggle, and I thank them sincerely. Some have desired to participate financially in my cause. If you wish to make a donation, go to www.lesreflexionsderaymondgravel.org, where you only have to follow the instructions. If I win this lawsuit, the amassed donations will permit me to finance all the organizations that have been victims of injustice.
Thank you with all of my heart.
Raymond Gravel, priest
Diocese of Joliette
Pastoral animator of the Montreal Firefighters and the Laval Police