John-Henry Westen

From the desk of the editor.

Pope Francis cold
This Monday marked the second time in a couple of weeks Pope Francis has raised the specter of Christian persecution in the West. Shutterstock

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Is Pope Francis hinting at Christian persecution in America?

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

This Monday marked the second time in a couple of weeks Pope Francis has raised the specter of Christian persecution in the West. As you’ll read below, Pope Benedict XVI did the same even more blatantly at the conclusion of his pontificate.  The sense of this reality is in the air, we can all feel it; heck there’s even a new movie about it.  On July 18 the film PERSECUTED will open in theatres across America.

Monday June 30, 2014, Pope Francis spoke in his homily about Christian persecution, noting there are more martyrs today than ever before in Christianity’s 2,000 year history.  While news of those remarks made headlines everywhere, there was a line in the homily missed by most. It referenced a different kind of persecution, an ‘elegant’ forcing out, or ‘white glove’ persecution, which the Pope said, is “persecution” nonetheless.

To discover his meaning, we can turn to Francis’ speech to the International Congress on Religious Liberty from June 20, 2014.  In it he warned that “in the name of a false concept of tolerance,” those “who defend the truth about man and the ethical consequences” end up being persecuted.

He spoke of ‘religious liberty’ as a ‘fundamental right’ beyond mere ‘private worship’.  “It is freedom to live according to ethical principles consequent upon the truth found, be it privately or publicly,” he said.  Maintaining such liberty he said forms “a great challenge in the globalized world, where weak thought  -- which is like a sickness – also lowers the general ethical level.”

And how do we know that Francis’ concerns are specific to America? Well, that’s easy. The Vatican made sure to specify that in the first meeting between the Pope and President Obama back in March, the Pope raised concerns about “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life, and conscientious objection.”

Pope Benedict on Persecution

The statements echo those of Pope Benedict, who in an address to the Bishops of America in January of 2012 warned: “it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.”

“The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life,” said Pope Benedict XVI.

Like Pope Francis, Pope Benedict referenced the need for freedom of religion rather than mere freedom of worship. He also expressed grave concern about the denial of “the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.”

Pope Benedict’s assessment of the threats to America was ominous indeed. “To the extent that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the proclamation of these truths,” he warned, “they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God.”

Solution for the Crisis

Benedict XVI’s solution for the crisis was to underscore the faith formation of the laity.

He spoke of the “need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.” 

He added, “The preparation of committed lay leaders and the presentation of a convincing articulation of the Christian vision of man and society remain a primary task of the Church in your country.”

However, Pope Benedict did not leave it at the laity alone.  In another address he noted the coming persecution, stressing this time that bishops must lead the way in confronting it with courage.

The Bishop as the example

In January 2013, Pope Benedict spoke of what kind of a man a bishop should be.

“The courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a Bishop today,” he said. “He must be courageous.” Seeking the “approval of the prevailing wisdom,” added Benedict, “is not a criterion to which we submit.”

“Today’s regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs,” Pope Benedict warned. “The courage to stand firm in the truth is unavoidably demanded of those whom the Lord sends like sheep among wolves.”

This courage, the pope said, does not consist “in striking out or in acting aggressively” but in “in allowing oneself to be struck and to be steadfast before the principles of the prevalent way of thinking.”

“Inevitably,” the pope said, faithful bishops will be “beaten by those who live lives opposed to the Gospel, and then we can be grateful for having been judged worthy to share in the passion of Christ”.

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Henry Westen with granddaughter.

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

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

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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Gender-bender fascism: HLN, Inside Edition still haven’t owned up to Zoey Tur’s threats

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

July 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Last week, Inside Edition transgender reporter Zoey Tur committed an act that should have gotten him arrested and fired: He physically grabbed and threatened Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro during an on-air segment of HLN’s Dr. Drew on Call.

What did Shapiro do to be threatened with hospitalization? He called the biologically male Tur “sir”.

“You cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance,” Tur said in a threatening voice. Shapiro responded by saying, “that seems mildly inappropriate for a political discussion.”

On Sunday, Shapiro filed a police report, noting that Tur threatened him after the appearance, saying, “I’ll see you in the parking lot.” CNN security escorted Shapiro to his car after Tur left CNN, according to Bretibart.

Tur also said “me, too” when someone tweeted that he would like to see Tur “curb stomp” Shapiro. A curb stomp is a horrific act of violence where an individual is placed open-mouthed over a curb and then stomped on the back of his or her head.

And on Tuesday, Tur admitted on a radio show that he was threatening Shapiro -- minutes before he contradicted himself, saying there was no intent to threaten.

It is terrifying that Tur, a much larger male, threatened Shapiro for merely stating what is biologically true - that Tur is a male. What is even worse, however, was the bullying that took place when the other guests, and even the show’s host, chose to criticize and berate the victim rather than object to Tur’s illegal manhandling and threats.

The show's host even took advantage of Shapiro, a victim of Tur's playground bully-style tactics, to promote Dr. Drew on Twitter. According to Dr. Drew, the moment of the threat was "heated" -- not, say, illegal threatening:

This is what's so disturbing: Because Tur claims to be female, it was considered acceptable by the female guests, the black guest, and the Hispanic guest to pounce on the Jewish guest. Literally, Tur's threat to inflict severe harm on a smaller, weaker guest for having a different opinion was endorsed and encouraged.

Whatever one’s view of transgenderism, it is clear that Tur definitely didn’t act like a lady. Instead, he acted like a thug. A thug who has attempted to purchase womanhood on the cheap.

Shapiro is right to go to the police; they should act quickly to protect his safety. It is also important that CNN, HLN, and CBS act to protect future guests from the enabling of physical violence seen on Dr. Drew last week. The first step is to never let Tur, or any of the guests who enabled Tur’s violence against Shapiro back on-air. The second is for Tur to be fired from Inside Edition. And the last is HLN to fire Dr. Drew for tacitly endorsing Tur's role of playground bully on his show...all the while pretending to be against bullying.

Contact CNN/HLN here. Contact Dr. Drew on Facebook here. Contact Dr. Drew on Twitter here.

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Planned Parenthood: the Amazon of the fetal parts industry

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

July 16, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- The economy is nothing like it was in the Clinton years. The dot-com bubble burst, the housing market tanked, and few industries have returned to their level of prosperity – except one.

The price of aborted children's body parts has increased markedly since it was first revealed in the late 1990s.

Sixteen years ago, when abortion clinics were first found to be profiting from the harvesting and trade in aborted baby body parts, the fetal tissue industry was miniscule compared to what it is today. Prices for a baby’s brain under eight weeks gestation was listed at $999.

URGENT: Sign the petition demanding that Congress stop Planned Parenthood's illegal and inhuman practice of harvesting, selling baby body parts. Click here.

Fetal gonads cost $500.

Since then, products have diversified into processed items to make the baby parts harvesting and trade business a multi-billion dollar industry.

For instance, today, companies such as Stem Express are selling aborted baby livers after processing and getting them down to specific types of derived cells.  Whereas in 1998 the price list had aborted baby livers ranging from $125 to $150, today’s prices for a vial of aborted baby liver cells range anywhere from $488 to $24,250.

Planned Parenthood has been deceiving the public about its profit on the marketing of body parts from aborted babies for two decades. When they were first caught involved with a middle-man company selling organs, limbs and other body parts to researchers, they denied involvement.

In 2000, ABC’s 20/20 program did its own investigation to confirm the results of the findings of pro-life group Life Dynamics, which found baby body parts were being sold to researchers. 

Gloria Feldt, who was then-president of Planned Parenthood, told 20/20 that fetal organ trafficking “seems inappropriate – totally inappropriate. Where there is wrongdoing, it should be prosecuted. People who are doing that kind of thing should be brought to justice.”

This time around, current president Cecile Richards was caught on video acknowledging the practice, and Planned Parenthood has not issued a categorical denial.  Instead, its PR firm made the innocuous-sounding claim that it’s nothing more than women choosing to donate the “tissue” from their abortions, which is all very consensual and legal.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

While it is illegal to “sell” aborted baby body parts, Planned Parenthood appears to be raking in profits from the aborted baby parts trade via loopholes in the law that allow payment for things like transportation, processing and storage of fetal tissue.

Consent means disclosure of information. How many Planned Parenthoods are telling mothers coming in for abortions that they’re basing part of their decision making on how to kill the fetus and remove it from the mother, based on the body parts they want to procure for researchers willing to pay top dollar for them?

A Congressional hearing 15 years ago found that despite their denials, at least one Planned Parenthood clinic was indeed involved in the baby parts trafficking business.

Fifteen years later, another undercover investigation has shown Planned Parenthood is the center of the baby parts business.  A new Congressional investigation is underway. 

Over at IJ Review yesterday, I noted that this is only the latest manifestation of abortion’s devaluation of human life. In 2006 we saw abortion mills in the Netherlands and Ukraine harvesting babies for beauty treatments. Remember too that only after getting caught last year did officials in Oregon end a program where aborted babies from Canada were being used as a source of energy via incinerator.

As presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told me Tuesday, “This latest news is tragic and outrageous. This isn't about ‘choice’. It’s about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it's about empowerment."

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Controversial documentary will benefit pro-life groups

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By John-Henry Westen

Creators of the highly controversial, award-winning documentary "The Principle" are stepping up to offer private showings of the new film that documents Earth’s significance in the cosmos as a way for grassroots pro-life groups to build their communities and raise funds for their programming through an innovative screening process that has raised hundreds of thousands for similar groups in the past.

“After opening the film in 10 cities across the U.S., we’re eager to build upon the audiences and bring this film to as many viewers as possible ahead of any VOD/DVD release,” noted writer/producer Rick Delano. “If we can help small pro-life groups raise thousands in each market in the process, that’s just a bonus.”

The screening program will be run through Little Flower Strategies (LFS), which has run similar event-based fundraisers for pro-life and other groups in the past using films such as "Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine" and "The Triumph", which screened in hundreds of cities worldwide, raising nearly $200,000 for small, grassroots groups.

“We’ve worked with many pro-life groups before and seen amazing success with these screenings,” said LFS’ Victor Pap, who will guide local leaders and organizers through the screening process. “In fact, one group reported bringing in over $11,000 with just two events—we consider that a major success for a small pro-life prayer group looking to broaden their base and all it takes a little work.”

Since its limited theatrical release across 10 U.S. markets, "The Principle" has developed a tremendous online following and drawn critical praise from pastors, reviewers, and even an international film festival. With narration by Kate Mulgrew ("Star Trek Voyager"), visual animations by BUF Compagnie Paris ("The Matrix: Revolutions", "Harry Potter"), and commentary from prominent scientists including George Ellis, Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss, and MIT’s Max Tegmark, this important film traces the development of cosmology from its inception (Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid at Giza) through the revolution of Copernicus and shows modern science pointing toward evidence of a Creator.

“The beauty of the pro-life movement is its defense of the idea that every human life is significant, no matter how ‘small’. Imagine, if that truth were empirically reflected in our cosmos,” asks Delano. “Imagine if this tiny, humdrum planet, were actually shown to be of true significance—what might that mean for us all?”

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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.

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