John Westen

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Farewell to Kathleen Gilbert

John Westen

Today, Sunday October 14, Kathleen Gilbert our beloved former US Bureau Chief and intrepid reporter enters the Carmelite convent in Buffalo NY.  It is a time mixed with joy, pride, and hope, but also with sadness and hardship.  The sadness and hardship are easily understood on the physical realm: a great reporter with the skill to undertake the most sensitive subjects with care and discernment will no longer be investigating and writing for us.  However, after extracting many many promises of continued prayers Kathleen, I can safely say, will remain on the LifeSiteNews team. 

There was a very nice write-up of Kathleen’s journey from LifeSiteNews reporter to nun over at Catholic News Agency.

I would urge you to check it out.....

Here are a few highlights:

Pro-life news career helps journalist discover religious vocation

On Oct. 14, Kathleen Gilbert, former LifeSiteNews U.S. Bureau Chief, will begin her first year as a postulant for the Discalced Carmelites in Buffalo, N.Y.

...

Gilbert wanted to study exorcism and demonology, but eventually became a journalist, giving up her post-graduate studies in theology to write full time for LifeSiteNews.com, a non-profit online news site dedicated to covering stories from the culture, life and family spheres.

But that shift in plans was possible only because of the spiritual nature of her work, which was “enough to satisfy my desire to do good and, especially, fight evil,” she said.

“It was an absolutely spiritual workplace. Our daily bread is prayer,” she said. “Being able to bring such single-mindedness towards God into one’s daily work routine is a real privilege.”

Do read the rest of the story here.

Farewell Kathleen, we’ll be counting on your prayers always.



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Henry Westen with granddaughter.

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Private letter to an abortionist from a hard-core trad Mass Catholic

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August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- My Dad was the epitome of a hard-core traditional Mass Catholic. He was a man who went to Mass daily, said many rosaries a day without fail, and bemoaned the loss of the Latin Mass and the abuses of the Novus Ordo.  He was a pro-life activist, donating to the cause and showing up faithfully at the March for Life and Life-Chains even when his aging body and leukemia would advise otherwise.

Imagine how he’d speak to an abortionist. Imagine how he’d communicate to the chief abortionist - Henry Morgentaler if he got the chance.  

Well there’s no need to wonder. I found a sealed letter, a letter I was supposed to send that got lost in the hustle and bustle of big family life.  It’s from years ago before my Dad and Henry Morgentaler both passed away.

The letter blows away the false impression of traditional Catholics as hate-filled, judgemental, unkind, uncaring and self-righteous.  Check out the kindness and the outreach to Canada’s leading abortionist from this man - Henry Westen - who many would have taken for an extremist. A kinder and gentler man I have never known.

Rest in peace Dad, and pray for me that I may join you there one day.

 

Dear Henry,                                                                                                    Bancroft, 15-4-08

 

Ever since I read a newsletter from C.L.C. (Campaign Life Coalition) I wanted to write to you and thank you for the fairness, indeed, justice of some of your views as reported in that letter! First, I allow me to to address you as Henry, since I am your namesake. My name has also been Henry, for so, these eighty years (erring a few months) of my life. Your birthday, 19 March, is also dear to me, as it is the feastday of St. Joseph, whom I venerate as the chaste spouse of the virgin Father of Jesus. I have often visited the holy shrine in honour of St. Joseph, in Montreal, where I lived for a while.

Now, to come to the reason of my letter.  In the CLC newsletter it was reported that you also approved of late abortions.  Furthermore you backed the right of medical personnel, ie. doctors and nurses, to refuse to cooperate in abortions - a right that the rabid feminists want to deny them through corrosive legislation! And wonderful to relate, you also had the courage and honesty to declare that, in your opinion, the so-called pro-lifers (usually labelled anti-choicers or anti-abortionist) were not people given to violent methods. These views take courage + have undoubtedly drawn criticism upon you. 

I was sad to learn, however, that your own mother does not love you. Here I wish to to differ with you - no Mother, ever forgets or ceases to love the child she gave birth to. I am sure your mother loves you but may disapprove of your chosen profession.  

Every Mother, especially when older and more mature, realises that the child she gave birth to - is not of her own making. She cooperated, was instrumental in bringing a child to birth. Your Mother has probably often read Psalm 139 of the Jewish BIble, which we Christians inherited from the Jews. There we read: Ps.139, 13-”For thou hast made my reins, Thou hast knit me together in my mother's womb. I will give thanks unto Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well....My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth,” etc. These wonderful words I have copied from the Holy Scripts approved by Jewish authorities are true, so true indeed, every child is wonderfully made the complex organs of eyes, ears, brains, etc. the inner organs, altogether a wonderful reality. 

God, Yahweh, is the Designer and creator of all human life, indeed of all life. We can only cooperate or destroy. To nurture to protect and to defend life is the solemn duty of everyone who believes in God the creator. I cannot believe that you are an atheist-as medical doctor you know too much about the mystery of life described so beautifully in Palm 139, above.

My Jewish Bible has other texts which I cannot believe-apply to you-Psalm 14:The fool has said in his heart:” there is no God” and it is repeated in Psalm 53: ”the fool has said in his heart: there is no God”.

Dear Henry. I am 80 (eighty) years old and although I have done many foolish things in my life I could never (thank God) shake my belief in God, Yahweh, the Creator. It just did not make sense to me. I am firmly convinced that, in the bottom of your heart, you can’t say ”there is no God”.

I am on the verge of leaving this earthly life. Perhaps God will grant me a few more years - I also must think you are not far behind me -- somewhere between 60 and 70? I hope and pray that you will turn to God who told us in Deuteronomy 6,4: ”hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the lord is one and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might”.

Henry, my namesake, I love you as a fellow creature of God, who is love. I shall pray for you every day.

Shalom,

Henry Westen



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The gay rights flag is dripping with the blood of the unborn

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June 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Unlimited access to the internet and 24-hour news cycles would give one the impression that extensive information is being conveyed to the public regarding the crucial issues of our day. But in large part, the same old uninformative stuff gets regurgitated over and over again. The gatekeepers, intent on presenting a one-sided portrayal of one of the most coordinated and funded social movements of our day, are fine with misrepresenting the news.

This is “Pride” month for a community that enjoys the most protection of any people group by news organizations. There’s no journalistic objectivity, only subjectivity drenched in happy rainbow colors and an ever-expanding acronym. The LGBT activist movement enjoys its immunity as it brands any dissenters as haters, bigots, and homophobes.

I’m from a family filled with diversity. I’ve always been taught to love others, to be compassionate, and to speak and live the truth. Oh, and by the way, be prepared for people to hate you anyway. Little did I know, as a child, how valuable those lessons would be now.

The LGBTQ movement decries the “inequality” and the epidemic of “hate violence” that touches the homosexual, bisexual and whatever-you-want-to-be-sexual community. (I’m not going to go into the absurd self-cited “hate violence reports”, pseudoscience, and trumped up statistics right now; that will have to be a whole other Radiance Foundation article). No one deserves to be physically harmed (unless it’s self-defense, of course). Yet, at the same time leading “gay rights” groups cry “discrimination” they actively, and aggressively, promote the most violent form of discrimination: abortion.

Nearly every major LGBTQxyz group (Human Rights Campaign, Act Up, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and GLAAD, just to name a few) promotes the violence of abortion. Many of them see “gay rights” and “abortion rights” as a united front.

In a teleconference discussing Lamda Legal’s opposition to the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, a participant asked the question: “I looked at your 30 questions and see that several of them relate to Roe v. Wade. Why is Lambda Legal focusing on abortion?” Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal, answered: “Well, for at least a century, reproductive freedom and LGBT rights have been inextricably linked both legally and politically. The ties between these rights are so strong that we really believe that a threat to one directly and profoundly impacts the other. That is true historically.”

He continued: “In the early 1900s, feminist pioneers like Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman set out to convince the public that sexual freedom and the ability to control one’s reproductive destiny were intimately connected and beyond that that both were essential to individual liberty.”

Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, often discussed homosexuality. Her organization promoted it as a means to curb population. After her death, Planned Parenthood Vice President, Frederick S. Jaffe, issued what is referred to as the Jaffe Memo, which encouraged “increased homosexuality” as a means to reduce U.S. fertility. The nation’s soon-to-be-leading-national-abortion-chain promoted homosexuality as a means to reduce our population, not to illuminate any kind of equality or worth of an individual.

Yet, here we are in 2015 with multimillion-dollar gay activist organizations embracing the ideals of a racist and elitist eugenicist and an organization birthed in her pseudoscience of eugenics. Some of these groups, like Human Rights Campaign, receive funds directly from Planned Parenthood—a billion dollar business that profits from the violence of abortion.

Planned Parenthood is so enmeshed in the “gay rights” movement, it’s hard to separate the abortion chain from this political juggernaut. LGBTQPP activists, as Lambda Legal articulated, see the freedom to choose abortion and the freedom to choose sexuality as a political and inseparable marriage.

ACT UP, a homosexual group created to fight the horrible AIDS epidemic, boasted of this union: “In December of 1989, ACT UP made history…About 4500 protestors attended the first ‘Stop the Church’ action to protest the Catholic Church’s deadly, homophobic, and misogynistic AIDS and abortion policies.”

What does AIDS have to do with abortion?  Well, nothing. This historic event in New York was a massive ACT UP protest against what it charged as the Catholic Church’s  “denial of life-saving AIDS information” and its “opposition to a woman’s right to abortion.”

Mainstream media, in collaboration with groups like the National Gay & Lesbian Journalist Association and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), make sure these “rights” are communicated in the same breath, with the same indignant calls for “equality” and “freedom.”

“While many of us in the LGBT community see parallels between the gay and women’s rights movements, we often overlook the direct role of Roe in establishing a right to same-sex marriage…Reproductive freedom and LGBT freedom are two sides of the same idea,” declares GLAAD on its website. The media-focused organization’s mission is, in part, to “create a world where everyone can live the life they love.” Well, everyone except those who are aborted under GLAAD’s banner of “reproductive freedom”.

Sadly, these groups stand in solidarity with an industry that violently discriminates thousands of times every single day and over one million times a year. Apparently, “hate speech” is just fine if it calls for the death of a minority—a minority more vulnerable and more victimized than any other group of human beings…the unborn.

I can’t see the (co-opted) rainbow colors of the LGBT movement’s flag without seeing the blood that drips from the fabric of its hypocrisy. You can’t demand “equality” while proudly stripping it away from millions of others. No one should ever take pride in violence. It diminishes all of us—born and unborn.



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Jesus Claus and Santa Christ

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It’s that time of year for us to realize how far societies tend to veer from the true essence of things. We live in a deeply superficial culture that is too often satisfied with veneers. If it’s shiny and new and untouched by real life, it strangely gives us the false assurance that it will last forever.

Anyone can package up crap and put a nice shimmery bow on it and pass it off as the got-to-have-it-or-you’ll-die item of the season. Even when what’s inside is genuine and something we truly need, too many are content with the outer misleading packaging.

We’ve been consuming so much materially and ideologically, we’ve confused the packaging for the occasional essential stuff inside. In a selfie-driven, soundbite-fed world we are fixated with mere reflections and obvious distortions.

Holidays have become exactly that. Are we okay with the reality that most of them have devolved into conduits for filling store shelves with junk we don’t need and meanings divorced from their original intent? And I’m not going to blame capitalism. No one is forcing us to spend our money on emptiness.

Many of America’s churches, sadly, lead in the superficialization of the most sacred of holidays by delivering an enticingly packaged Christ, all year round, who might as well be Santa. He’s been so stripped of the true nature of who He is—love, mercy, grace, righteousness, righteous anger, compassion, intolerant of sin, forgiveness—that he’s become a caricature. Is it any wonder so many children put equal value in Christ and Claus? Interestingly, it’s okay for Santa to be judgmental as he decides who has been naughty or nice. But today’s westernized Jesus is someone who not only accepts everyone as they are, He’s perfectly fine with them intentionally remaining as they are, sinful behaviors and all.

But this facsimile of Jesus denies us of the most beautiful gift of love He offers us: redemption and transformation. There is an ever-widening void in our spiritually craving culture that is being filled by relativism and revisionism. Jesus and Saint Nicholas are hardly distinguishable as both are dim reflections of the real flesh and blood persons who represent(ed) each name. Jesus, the only Son of God, was sent here to Earth because our Creator loved us enough to rescue us from ourselves. That deliverance was in the form of a child, born to a poor yet courageous teenage mother and a father who chose adoption over abandonment. He chose to die for us in a brutal display of self-sacrificial love. Saint Nicholas, a Greek who served as a bishop in Myra, Turkey during the 4th century, was a fierce defender of this Savior in a time when priests were killed for not renouncing their faith. He was one of the signers of the revolutionary Nicene Creed.

I like that Santa more. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against imaginative creations. I’m a creative professional, and I enjoy make-believe in the right place and time. Sadly, too many don’t or can’t distinguish between faith and fantasy and render holidays like Christmas less than meaningful and full of commercial clutter.

There is a Savior who continues to love, continues to redeem and doesn’t need to be repackaged for a 21st century world.



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