John-Henry Westen

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A storm in the Vatican – but there’s great hope

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

I’ve been in Rome since October 1 to cover the Synod on the Family where 61 cardinals, 1 cardinal patriarch, 7 patriarchs, 1 major archbishop, 66 archbishops, 47 bishops, 1 auxiliary bishop, 1 priest, and 6 religious are gathered to deliberate with Pope Francis on the family.

Before coming, the inspiration for LifeSiteNews’ mission here was to try to be a beacon during the storm.  For many years a storm of confusing messages have come from Church leadership but it seems never more so than in recent times.  What we hoped to do was to interview Synod Fathers willing to speak the truth in love regarding the family in spite of being politically incorrect.

We have been blessed to interview some of the Synod Fathers from Africa and Eastern Europe and provide those bright lights of the Church to the world via LifeSiteNews in our joint effort with the coalition Voice of the Family.

In one of our many meetings with leading Catholic figures in Italy we were encouraged even in the face of the monumental struggles we face. Professor of History Dr. Roberto de Mattei told us that the main requirement of the pro-life and pro-family movements is that we “exist.” Because, he said, “Good can tolerate evil, but evil cannot tolerate good.”

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Thankfully, in addition to the great interviews with some of the Synod Fathers (see here, here and here, and expect to see our interview with Cardinal Burke tomorrow), we’re working with an awesome team of life and family groups from all over the world who have banded together as ‘Voice of the Family.’ 

There are now 15 life and family groups in the coalition representing Britain, the United States, Ireland, Canada, Africa, New Zealand, and the Czech Republic.

That sound voice, speaking up for children and families everywhere is actually getting heard in the mainstream media all over the world. Here’s a sampling of the news coverage today. It seems we often get “the last word.”

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John-Henry Westen

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.  

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.  

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.