John-Henry Westen

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Smiling faces? Vatican releases photos of Pope meeting US bishops over abuse crisis

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

September 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Vatican media released to journalists this morning photos of Pope Francis' emergency meeting regarding the sexual abuse crisis with US Cardinals Daniel DiNardo and Sean O'Malley as well as Archbishop José Gomez. The photo, which shows all the prelates smiling along with the Pope, appears to mark another PR disaster for the Vatican plagued with PR flops. 

The photo of smiling faces, unfortunately, lends itself to the interpretation that top leaders in the Church do not take the abuse crisis seriously. One can only imagine what victims abused by Catholic clergy are experiencing while viewing such a photo.

In the face of allegations by Archbishop Viganò of the cover-up of sexual abuse situations, Pope Francis spoke of silence and prayer – the same counsel scandalously given to victims and their advocates when they came forward to testify to their abuses. 

Another recent PR disaster came for the Vatican when it attempted to shore up the reputation of Pope Francis with a doctored letter from Pope Emeritus Benedict. The attempt, known as "lettergate," backfired when the full contents of the letter came to be known and were not as favorable to the pontiff as the Vatican indicated. 

Related:

Top Vatican official resigns after doctoring Pope Benedict letter on 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.