LifeSiteNews.com, the right-wing web page that has been credited with sparking the latest accusations against Pope Francis, has a history of misleading reporting and a clear anti-choice and anti-gay agenda - a fact missing from many of the mainstream outlets citing its reporting.
The website last week reported first that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, had accused Pope Francis in a lengthy letter of repealing strict sanctions put on Archbishop Theodore McCarrick by his predecessor, Pope Benedict, stemming from alleged abuses committed by McCarrick that were recently revealed. The website further reported on Friday that McCarrick continued making public appearances despite the sanctions.
The claims have drawn worldwide attention and sparked new calls for the pope's resignation, with news sources from The New York Times to the Associated Press citing LifesiteNews, but describing it as simply a conservative website.
In reality, the web page has an open opposition to abortion, gay rights and euthanasia and has been cited in the past for misleading reporting. Snopes.com, a respected fact-checking website, has described LifeSiteNews as a "known purveyor of misleading information."
Some examples of such inaccuracies according to Snopes.com:
* An April 2018 story wrongly reported that a California law barred parents from removing their children from sex education classes.
* An "unproven" story from June 2016 that a Georgia ACLU director resigned because her children were uncomfortable in a transgender bathroom.
* A false April 2016 story claiming an abortion provider strangled a baby after its birth.
LifeSiteNews was also sued for libel in 2011 by a pro-choice priest who claimed he was defamed. The website reported in 2014 that the case had ended, but did not disclose any settlement and said it cost them $260,000 in legal fees, adding that it still needed $95,000 to pay off that debt.
The site also showed its bias with an online petition urging readers to "support and pray" for Viganò, who has been outspoken against the pope's supportive comments for gay Catholics and those who have had abortions.
This does not mean that Viganò's letter and comments are not newsworthy. But when mainstream media outlets cite such biased, politically-driven and often misleading news sources, they should be revealed as such as well.