It has been with a heavy heart that we have reported in the last two months on the support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and other Catholic organizations, for the pro-abortion World March of Women in the Year 2000.

The Catholic Church is a crucial ally – indeed, it is truly the world leader – in the fight for the dignity of human life. In Canada as elsewhere, Catholic clergy and laity have led the way in fighting abortion, and continue to do so. It is for these reasons that we have felt obligated, as Canada’s pro-life newspaper, to report on Catholic involvement in the World March.

Mary Corkery, a representative of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, has publicly accused our on-line service, LifeSite, of waging a “disinformation” campaign against the CCODP, because we reported on their $110,000 donation to the March. But Catholics have a right to know that the money they have given to legitimate social justice projects has been used in such an outrageous way.

The bishops conference and the others involved say that they wanted to cooperate with the March organizers on issues of common concern, like poverty and violence against women, even if they must disagree on other issues. Unfortunately, abortion is not just any issue – it concerns the fundamental right to life, without which every other aspect of “social justice” is ultimately meaningless.

Moreover, it seems the Church’s partners in “cooperation” haven’t really agreed to disagree. While most of the Catholic groups involved say they thought the March objectives were open to interpretation, it’s clear that the March organizers are not so flexible.

Finally, it’s not as if the Church has no option but to cooperate with objectionable groups. Surely there are other ways to work for social justice and collaborate with others in a common cause, without being drawn into an absolutely unacceptable agenda.

It is painful to say it, but the CCCB, the CCODP, and the Catholic Women’s League ought to have known better. Or, more accurately, the leaders of these groups ought to have known better. We are glad to say that many of the individual members of these organizations do know better.

It is our prayer that the integrity and common sense of these individuals will eventually prevail. In the struggle against the culture of death, there are just too many vulnerable women and children at stake.

Canada’s dubious record
on freedom of the press

For those who may not have heard, Wednesday, May 3 was World Press Freedom Day. Apart from professional journalists, most people would not classify the event among the more significant commemorations of the year.

But we all ought to do so – not least because freedom of the press is being violated in our own fair Dominion. Yes, the right of citizens to be informed and to debate matters of public interest – an absolute necessity in any free society today – is imperilled in Canada.

Most of the media commentaries on World Press Freedom Day, as far as we could tell, focused predictably on the censorship and oppression journalists experience in banana republics and various other less “progressive” countries. Unfortunately, we needn’t look beyond our own borders to find the State suppressing information it doesn’t like.

As we reported last November and December, three Canadian journalists were arrested and charged while on assignment at a pro-life demonstration in Toronto. Two of them, in fact, are associated with this newspaper: Sue Careless, one of our regular contributors and a member of our editorial board, and Steve Jalsevac, the director of our on-line service, LifeSite. The third, Gord Truscott, was covering the demonstration as part of a book he has written on Linda Gibbons, one of Canada’s leading pro-life activists.

Although none of the three was violating any law (the no-protest “bubble-zone” injunction outside abortuaries does not apply to reporters), and none of them got in the way of the police activity at the demonstration, they now face expensive, stressful, and seemingly interminable trials.

If you’re not upset about this state of affairs, you should be. It’s outrageous enough that peaceful pro-life witnessing has been outlawed – now the government wants to silence all information about it.

Try to imagine what it’s been like for these three law-abiding citizens and responsible reporters, to be hauled away by the police and dragged before the courts, simply for doing their jobs. Try to imagine facing a possible $50,000 legal bill, when you have a family to look after.

And please consider what you can do to help. Two legal defence funds have been set up, one for Sue Careless, and one for Steve Jalsevac and Gord Truscott. (Sue Careless is being tried separately.) The Sue Careless Legal Defence Fund may be reached care of Rodger Cummins 439 Briar Hill Ave. Toronto M5N 1M8 tel. (416) 487-7507 fax (416) 487-0029 e-mail:

The Jalsevac-Truscott Legal Defence Fund may be reached care of The Interim, at the address listed below.

Please, please give. And pray. It would be tough to find a cause more worthy than these.