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November 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In my latest episode of The John-Henry Westen Show, I was joined by accomplished author and seminary professor Dr. Ralph Martin, the head of Renewal Ministries, an organization dedicated to Catholic evangelization, to discuss his book,“A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward.”

Never one to mince words, Dr. Martin told me we have “a terrible situation right now” in the Church, and that “as long as we keep that false optimism going, we're not going to be able to really look at what's wrong and really come up with measures that would address the depth of our problems.” 

It was a pleasure to discuss with Dr. Martin the array of topics included in his book, especially what he thinks are the causes that have led to the crisis in the Church…and what he thinks can help us get out of this mess. You can purchase his book from Emmaus Road Publishing by clicking here

Dr. Martin explained that he wanted to write a book that was “honest about the confusion because a lot of people try to paper it over and say, oh, no, it's the media who's distorting things.” 

“The media does distort things,” he said, “but things are happening that are objectively just really, really wrong.” 

“We’ve got to be willing to speak the truth and take the consequences,” he continued. “The longer we delay in speaking the truth, the worse it's going to get.” 

Dr. Martin and I also discussed Pope Francis. 

“Those around the pope and the pope [himself] want to deemphasize sexual morality … probably out of good motives, but [it is] really a bad thing to do.”  

“Catholics who are coming to church on Sunday sometimes aren't coming with … the spirit of God,” he added. “They're coming with the mind of the world and the spirit of the age.” 

Dr. Martin gave a brutally honest appraisal of what’s going on in the church today. “We don't have a vibrant, thriving church at all … we need some pretty deep repentance.”  

“We’ve got to be honest. We've got to get over this false optimism.”

Dr. Martin recommended that Catholics take their prayer lives more seriously and that they use their voices to speak up when they see something that’s not quite right at their parish. 

“Us laypeople shouldn't be passive … Vatican II does say that laypeople have a right to make their views known.” 

“We need to vote with our pocketbooks … to support those parishes and those diocese that are faithful to Christ.” 

He closed our interview by noting that, “the Lord’s permitting [this crisis] to come out so that the righteous can be vindicated, that true doctrine can be confirmed, and that those who persist in subverting the faith can be identified and we can have a purified church.”

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. 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.