Friends of Saint Benedict Center Call Out Union Leader for Lies

Damien Fisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader has now fabricated a second story maligning the Saint Benedict Center and the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Fisher's latest calumny, "Richmond selectman refuses to discuss past Holocaust denials, seeks 3-year term," was printed by the Union Leader on February 26th.

The Friends of Saint Benedict Center, an organization of concerned lay Catholics founded to support the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire, is describing the story as "a tissue of lies, distortions, misrepresentations and attempts to impute guilt by association."

C. J. Doyle of the Friends of Saint Benedict Center, made the following observations:

  • Fisher's story contains the defamatory falsehood that the Center was censured by Rome in 2009 over anti-Semitic teachings. This libelous claim is a malicious invention, without foundation in reality. At no time in 2009, or at any other time, did the Holy See issue any censure, canonical or theological, or any other decree, statement or warning pertaining to anything the Saint Benedict Center has said, written, or cause to be published regarding Judaism or the Jewish community. Fisher's assertion constitutes a reckless disregard for the truth, which may meet the standard of actual malice.

  • Fisher claims, inaccurately, that the Center was recently sanctioned by the Vatican for its traditional theology, and that Rome has imposed certain conditions upon the Center. The current demands being made upon the SBC come entirely at the initiative of persons within the bureaucracy of the Diocese of Manchester who have demonstrated a longstanding hostility to the Center's apostolate.

  • Fisher's focus on Mr. Doug Bersaw's decision to seek municipal office in Richmond is a pretext to revisit and repeat Fisher's previous criticisms of the SBC. Fisher misleads his readers by misrepresenting Doug Bersaw's connection with the Center, describing him as a "lay leader," based upon a Boston Globe story which is fifteen years old. Doug Bersaw holds no position of authority, leadership or responsibility in the Saint Benedict Center or in the Third Order of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and has not held any position in the Third Order since 2006, more than a dozen years ago.

  • Doug Bersaw's opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views or values of the Saint Benedict Center, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary or the FoSBC.

  • Neither the Saint Benedict Center, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, nor the FoSBC have any reason to reject the settled historical consensus regarding the fact or the number of victims from the campaign of genocide perpetrated by the war criminals of Nazi Germany against the Jews of Europe during the Second World War. The Center and the Slaves harbor no animus, racial, ethnic, sectarian, ideological or political against the Jewish community. Their only interest in the Jewish community is evangelical, which is the same charitable interest they have for all of those who are outside of the Catholic Faith.

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