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Pope Francis meets with Italy's most prominent abortion advocate, Emma Bonino, whom he has praised as a "forgotten great."

April 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Being pro-life is a sine-qua-non (essential condition) for Catholics. In fact, the Catholic Church has been one of the only holdouts on the international stage still defending the right to life for pre-born children. 

For good reason in 2004, at the behest of Pope St. John Paul II, the bishops of the United States came up with a policy never to honor pro-abortion politicians since it would “suggest support for their actions.” That’s why the pro-life movement in Italy was in shock when Pope Francis praised Italy’s leading abortion proponent in comments to the largest newspaper.

The Pope called her one of the nation’s “forgotten greats” comparing her to great historical figures such as Konrad Adenauer.

Today, in Episode 4 of The John-Henry Westen Show, we’ll review the evidence on the incomprehensible case of the Pope’s praise for abortionist turned abortion-pushing politician Emma Bonino which has even led to her being invited to speak at Catholic Churches!

Remember the show appears every Tuesday. The John-Henry Westen Show is a short weekly commentary on the most important news developments in the Church and culture. We are beginning with a series laying out the hard evidence for our concerns with Pope Francis. 

In Episode 1, I explained why it is hard, but essential that we are willing to raise concerns about Pope Francis. Doing so is an act of charity to both the Pope and the Church.

Then in Episode 2, I discussed the Pope's harmful ambiguity on the question of cohabitation before marriage.

In Episode 3 I point out that the Pope has caused grave confusion about homosexual relationships.

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel, and right here on my LifeSite blog.

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Every week we will also be publishing the full transcript right here on my blog, in case you prefer to read the content. However, the show was created for video in order to show you, directly, the evidence of what I’m discussing. I encourage you first and foremost to watch the video commentaries.

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Watch Episode 3 here:

Listen to Episode 3 here:

Transcript: Pope Francis’ praise for Italy’s leading abortion pusher (herself an illegal abortionist)

Hi, I’m John-Henry Westen, co-founder and Editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.

At LifeSite we are very aware of the seriousness of criticizing the Pope. However, Canon law # 212 §3 speaks about this matter when it says that the laity “have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.” 

Canon law adds: “They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.”

Let’s start with a prayer. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On February 8, 2016 one of Italy’s most prominent dailies, Corriere Della Serra, published an interview with Pope Francis in which he praised Italy’s leading proponent of abortion – Emma Bonino – as one of the nation’s “forgotten greats,” comparing her to great historical figures such as Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman. 

More than that, the Pope has met with Bonino on several occasions and her close association with the Pope has even led to her speaking at several Catholic Churches in Italy – all the while being the chief promoter of abortion in the country.

Here is the poster of her presentation 2017 at one Catholic Church and video of her talk there – where pro-life protesters in the audience were thrown out of the Church. And here is video of her still promoting abortion in 2018.

In order to understand the gravity of all this you’d have to imagine that the Pope called Hilary Clinton of one America’s “forgotten greats,” but that would only work if Hilary started out as an illegal abortionist.

That’s why the pro-life movement in Italy was stunned and horrified at Pope Francis’ remarks.

Responding to the Pope’s praise of Bonino, pro-life leaders in Italy expressed disbelief.  “How can the pope praise a woman that is best known in Italy for practicing illegal abortion and promoting abortion?” commented Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, who then the head of the Rome office of Human Life International.

As I’ve said before, pro-life and pro-family leaders would be rejoicing if the Holy Father was meeting with abortionists and promoters of abortion if it was clear that he was calling them to repentance.  Without that we are left with grave confusion. 

Suggestions that the Pope did not know about Bonino’s controversial stances are dismissed by Italians since she was famously arrested for illegal abortions and then became a politician who led the fight for the legalization of abortion in the nation. 

Beyond that, Pope Francis has been acquainted with Bonino and her Radical Party leadership for years and been openly criticized for his warm relations with them.

In her capacity as Italian foreign minister, Bonino, along with President Georgio Napolitano and his key ministers, was granted an audience with Pope Francis on June 8, 2013. In April 2014, Bonino called Pope Francis to help end the hunger strike of Radical Party leader Marco Pannella. The Pope made the call and promised to join Pannella in his bid to better conditions in Italian prisons.  In May 2015 the Vatican Insider reported that Pope Francis personally invited Bonino to an audience in the Paul VI Hall. 

Bonino had an illegal abortion as a young woman then co-founded and worked with the Information Centre on Sterilization and Abortion which boasted over 10,000 abortions. There are famous photos of Bonino performing illegal abortions using a homemade device operated by a bicycle pump.  Arrested for the then-illegal activity she spent a few days in jail and was acquitted and entered politics. As a politician she has championed abortion, euthanasia, homosexual “marriage,” legalization of recreational drugs, graphic sex education, and more.

She’s great friends with international abortion pusher and globalist George Soros who gave her an award for women’s rights.

Pope Francis admires Bonino’s work with immigration. However, as Christian politicians increasingly struggle to remain true to pro-life and pro-family stances in public office and endure much criticism, it was harmful for the Pope to openly praise, without clear and necessary qualifications, a politician such as Bonino. It undermines the sacrifices many pro-life politicians have made and may even bring them to question the need to remain solid in their voting patterns.  It also undermines decades of heroic efforts by Italian pro-life leaders who have actively opposed Bonino’s anti-life and anti-family actions.

The U.S. Bishops highlight the problem in their 2004 document, Catholics in Political Life. “Our obligation as bishops at this time is to teach clearly,” they wrote, also saying they must warn and counsel politicians that by supporting abortion they are cooperating in evil. Moreover, they said that persistently pro-abortion politicians should not be honored by the Catholic community and by Catholic institutions. The bishops’ document directed that such politicians “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

Remember at LifeSite we’re about Caritas in Veritate – the truth in love. That’s what we’re after. 

May God bless you.

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

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. 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.