From the New Hampshire Reporter:
Judicial Vicar Rev. George de Laire filed a federal lawsuit against the far-right news outlet Church Militant this week, claiming the outlet published “recklessly false” statements about de Laire after a notorious radical sect was disciplined by the New Hampshire diocese.
Gary Michael Voris, who goes by Michael Voris in his internet videos, runs Church Militant, a website that reports on Catholic news and politics. Voris’ outlet published videos and articles calling de Laire “emotionally unstable,” stating de Laire is incompetent, and implying he’s corrupt, according to the lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in Concord on Friday.
The lawsuit states that Voris started his campaign against de Laire in January of 2019 after the diocese barred the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from calling themselves Catholic and put the group under discipline.
The Slaves are considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Slaves appealed the discipline laid out in a Decree of Precepts of Prohibition written by de Laire, but the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome rejected that appeal last year because it was filed after the statute of limitations had run out. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, or CDF, is the Vatican governing body that defends Catholic teaching from heresy and has perviously dealt with the Slaves.
Voris and Church Militant started covering the issue after the precepts were published, and the diocese advised Catholics in good standing to stay away from the Slaves. Voris, who is based in Michigan, even traveled to New Hampshire to interview members of the Slaves at their compound in Richmond. Voris did not interview de Laire or any priest in the diocese as part of his reporting, according to the lawsuit.
There’s much more. Read it all.
Church Militant’s published a response Saturday, calling it a “baseless defamation lawsuit.” The response reads in part:
In December 2019, Fr. Georges de Laire, vicar general for the diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, sent Church Militant a letter threatening to sue the apostolate for defamation for our reports exposing his conduct. They revolve around a dispute between him and the Saint Benedict Center, a traditional Catholic group in Richmond, New Hampshire — a story initially detailed in a January 2019 article, and later covered in an April 15, 2019 Vortex episode.
Church Militant responded to de Laire’s legal threat in January 2020 categorically rejecting his allegations. More than a year later (according to media reports but not yet confirmed by Church Militant, as we have yet to be made aware of any legal papers served against us), de Laire has apparently filed a defamation lawsuit, making many of the same baseless, inaccurate claims.
… Reverend de Laire’s crude attempt through a lawyer’s missive to intimidate and shut down our continued accurate reporting of the news is shameful on the part of a clergyman.