John-Henry Westen

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Pope issuing ‘fake news,’ or is it a ‘memory lapse’?

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ROME, June 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Noted Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin tweeted today his reaction to Pope Francis’ statement that he learned of the dubia only “from the newspapers,” recalling that Pope Francis in fact “received the dubia two months before the cardinals went public and instructed ++Muller (Cardinal Muller) not to respond.” Thereafter Pentin posited, “Memory lapse perhaps.”

Speaking with Reuters Rome correspondent Philip Pullella, the Pope spoke of criticism by Cardinal Raymond Burke and the other three dubia Cardinals. According to Reuters, the Pope said “he had heard about the cardinals’ letter criticizing him ‘from the newspapers.’” The Pope knocked the cardinals, saying it was “a way of doing things that is, let’s say, not ecclesial, but we all make mistakes.”

In fact, however, the dubia letter was sent to the Pope and copied to then-Vatican doctrine chief Cardinal Gerhard Muller, two months before they were made public. The original letter was sent privately to the Pope on September 19, 2016, and was only released to the public on November 14, 2016.

The dubia letter asked the pope five short questions that call for “yes or no” answers that would immediately clarify the meaning of the confusion-plagued document Amoris Laetitia.

Before releasing the document publicly, the dubia cardinals were informed that the Pope had instructed Cardinal Muller not to respond to the document, and that no response would be forthcoming.

The cardinals thus stated in their public release of the letter, “The Holy Father has decided not to respond. We have interpreted his sovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection, and the discussion, calmly and with respect. And so we are informing the entire people of God about our initiative, offering all of the documentation.”

In a note explaining to the faithful their release of the letter, the cardinals reveal the letter had its “origin in a deep pastoral concern,” about the “grave disorientation and great confusion of many faithful regarding extremely important matters for the life of the Church.”

It has now been nearly two years of Pope Francis’ refusal to answer those questions that the four cardinals believed were so crucial for the good of the Church. Two of the four cardinals have died since the publication of the dubia, and in the case of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, his friends say he died of a broken heart because of Pope Francis.

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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.