John-Henry Westen

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Going to Rome for the family synod is hard on my wife and 8 kids, but there’s a good reason she supports me being here

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This year I have travelled to eight states and made several international trips spreading the pro-life and pro-family message.  With eight children, the youngest still 3 I have to discern carefully what ‘away’ trips I take on, and the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Rome is indeed a worthy cause.

None of these excursions are undertaken without the thought that, as Pope St. John Paul II said, all must be done ‘for the family’ and not ‘at the expense’ of the family.  These away missions are surely a stress on my good wife who is home schooling our little ones.

Years ago, prior to his passing, my Dad told my wife that the ‘culture war’ we are living in these times is no less a ‘war’ than previous wars and that at times soldiers are called to go to the front.

The reason I’m in Rome for the Synod is that there is some serious distortion going on regarding presentation of the life and family teachings of the Catholic faith. LifeSiteNews has to be there to transmit the truth from the best leaders in the Church who make up for their brother bishops who are silent or worse on the greatest moral issues of our day.

In Rome we’re part of an amazing coalition of life and family groups from around the world.  Calling ourselves Voice of the Family, we’ve formed an alliance with the very best groups from all over the globe with the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children taking a lead role.

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Watching the progress of the mainstream media’s distortion of truth makes me shudder for the future.  When most of the faithful receive their ‘news’ on the Vatican and form Christian leadership from the bits the mainstream media chooses to publish, much and often the best and most important bits are lost.

As I’ve said previously and as many are saying, the truths of the faith can’t change. However, that doesn’t prevent massive confusion from being sown, or from the falling away from practice of the truths of faith by a majority of the faithful as already happened with contraception in the 1960s.

There is with this Extraordinary Synod a great hope for new strategies to transmit the Truth on life and family, for a robust reaffirmation of the teachings that have been largely ignored and rarely heard from pulpits around the world over the last fifty years.



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John-Henry Westen

John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. 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.