Canadian Bishops Issue Strict Media Rules

Prior to holding its annual plenary assembly in Cornwall, Ontario, in late September, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) issued strict rules for members of the media who would be covering the event. Specifically, journalists were told to submit their questions in advance and, on the application for media accreditation, were instructed “not to approach Bishops or CCCB staff for interviews at any time, including coffee breaks and meals.” Lisa Gall, CCCB’s communications coordinator, said these requirements “were added on the basis of recent experience.” Prior to this assembly, CCCB’s media accreditation forms only asked journalists to detail the subjects on which they wished to question bishops. The president of the Canadian bishops’ conference, Lionel Gendron, echoed the words of St. Paul in Ephesians while speaking at the assembly—that “it is better to expose works of darkness and bring them to light.”

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