Apology to Fr. Georges de Laire — By: Church Militant

On January 17, 2019 and thereafter, St. Michael’s Media (SMM) published on its Church Militant website a story on its ChurchMilitant.com web site about Father Georges de Laire, the Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire. The story was authored by Marc Balestrieri, who requested that his authorship be concealed, and led SMM to believe that the claims in his article were supported by anonymous sources known to him. SMM and Church Militant extend their apologies to Father de Laire for the publication of this story which has been permanently removed from the ChurchMilitant.com website. Additionally, we have resolved Father de Laire’s defamation lawsuit through a financial payment to him.

SMM and Church Militant regret that the article was not properly vetted. It was later revealed that Mr. Balestrieri could not substantiate his claims regarding Father de Laire with any credible sources. Further, Mr. Balestrieri did not disclose to SMM his active involvement in a canonical dispute in which he was representing a client and Father de Laire was representing the Church at the time he wrote the article, which would have raised questions about the motive behind the anonymous allegations in the article prior to its publication.

Mr. Balestrieri, after being sued, did not defend the lawsuit, leading the Court to enter a default judgment against him. Mr. Balestrieri further failed to attend his duly-noticed and agreed-upon deposition.

SMM sincerely apologizes for their part in any distress or damage they may have caused Father de Laire.

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