John-Henry Westen

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It seems the poor and persecuted (bishops) will stick up for the family

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

At the Synod of Bishops, the Bishops of Africa have spoken out strongly in defense of the family. 

As Archbishop Kaigama, the archbishop of Jos, who is representing Nigeria, told me over dinner, the family is essential in Africa. He also explained that Jos is at the epicenter of Boko Haram, and that he knows he could face his Maker any day and lives that way – ready to give an account for the hope that is in him.

The same holds true for the Bishop of Ghana, who was also at the dinner. These bishops' countries are poor and struggling with hardship, but those same stresses have made them fight for their families.  When Ghana Bishop Osei-Bonsu told me about how his country has resisted the pressure from foreign governments to implement ‘gay rights’ I was amazed that protecting the family was put ahead of the allure of monetary aid.

Obianuju Ekeocha, a great friend and warrior for life and family who runs ‘Culture of Life Africa,’ gave a short intervention at a conference where John Smeaton and I spoke Tuesday. She noted that in Africa, troubled by poverty and war, family is all they have and that Africans will stand up and fight for family.  That is why the African bishops are standing strong.

Another example of a bishop from a war-torn country standing for family is His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church. Speaking of the pain and suffering in Ukraine, he said: “For Ukrainians family is the last defense of human dignity. At the moment when your world is falling apart a family is your last defense. This is why there is big respect and the sanctity of the Christian family.”

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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.