John-Henry Westen

From the desk of the editor.

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Survey: teens want how-to-be-a-parent ed over ‘sex’ ed

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Teenagers would rather have information on being a parent than find out more about sexual intercourse, according to a new survey of student from grades 9-11 from the East Riding of Yorkshire UK.

In the wide-ranging study carried out by researchers at the University of Hull, the responsibilities of parenthood topped the list of must-know topics for 13 to 16 year olds, ahead of safe sex, sexual intercourse, contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).



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Upcoming Sony film RISEN promotes belief in the resurrection of Christ

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February 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Set to open on 2,700 screens across North America on February 19, Risen, starring Joseph Fiennes of Shakespeare in Love fame, begins where Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ concluded: the crucifixion. Seen through the eyes of Clavius, an ambitious Roman tribune (Fiennes) charged with guarding the body of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth, the story is told from the vantage point of an unbeliever on a desperate mission to crush the "rumor" of the Messiah's resurrection.

The Sony Pictures film is reminiscent of the 1985 film The Fourth Wise Man, starring Martin Sheen in that the ever so familiar events are retold from a fresh perspective, making the narrative all the more convincing. Rich Peluso, senior vice president of AFFIRM Films, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, spoke of it as the "intersection of Scripture and historical fiction," which allows for a "refreshing and exciting way to relive this story that I know and love so well with different eyes."

Peluso, who after working 15 years in Christian music joined Sony to "utilize corporate worldly resources to tell stories that point to Jesus," told LifeSiteNews in an interview last week that Clavius is a composite character of many who must have taken the news of the resurrection back to Rome.

How is it, said Peluso, that the "dominant empire in the world, focused on crushing Christianity, gets flipped in a number of generations into a Christian empire?" Obviously, the truth of Christ's resurrection witnessed by the Jews and Romans had a transformative effect.

Peluso said that Risen has had incredibly positive feedback from the Christian leaders who screened the film.

The epic production has a realistic feel and a compelling story. The biblical violence is not nearly as severe as that of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. While the portrayal of Jesus doesn't equal Jim Caviezel's masterwork, the resurrected Jesus has only a very small part in Risen, as the focus is on Clavius's journey to seeing and believing. Risen's presentation will assist many who don't see Him to come to believe in Christ and His Resurrection.



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John-Henry Westen giving his speech upon receiving the John Cardinal O'Connor Award.

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The battle for life and family is raging and you have been summoned to the fight

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Editor's Note: This speech was given by LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen to members of Legatus on January 29, 2016 upon receiving the John Cardinal O'Connor Award.

February 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Thank you Tom and all of Legatus for this incredible honor. I have often looked up to you Tom as a hero in the faith, so coming from you this means a great deal to me. This award, like so much in my life since my reversion to the Catholic faith in my early twenties is a testimony to the awesome generosity and mercy of God even to those who have abandoned Him.

You see, both Steve and I left the practice of faith in our youth. We were on the other side, even of the culture of life. He was a member of Zero Population Growth and I lived a life of hedonism. But God in His mercy brought us back to Himself and has since showered us with blessings, crosses too of course, but many blessings.

Jim Hughes and Steve Jalsevac have been mentors to me in the movement for life. In fact, they, like so many of the soldiers in the work for faith, life and family are the best people anyone could know.

What began as a humble tiny enterprise with a few recipients has grown into an international news service with 60 million page views from 30 million users last year alone. LifeSite, launched in 1997 by Campaign Life Coalition has since launched other organizations including the Rome Life Forum, Voice of the Family with SPUC, and just last September we began a Catholic Magazine called Faithful Insight. Copies of Faithful Insight are available here and we pray you will choose to subscribe to it and that it may be a blessing to you, your family and your friends.

For me none of this would be possible without my faithful wife Dianne.

  • she left her teaching career so she could home school our 8 children
  • she converted to the Catholic faith with our third child after the Bible convinced her of the truth of Christ’s True Presence in the Eucharist
  • she was open to life even after three miscarriages
  • she permits me to go and speak wherever I’m called all over the world and bears the long hours needed for this mission
  • she has never balked at the hardships that have come with it

I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve been showered by blessings.

I had a saintly father who raised me, a mother who bore me and another mother who sacrificed herself to help raise me.

I have a heavenly Mother who through True Devotion showed me the way to Her Son. And an awesome God who nearly every day since my return to Him in 1993 has given Himself to me Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

What greater joy and blessing can there be anywhere than the life of Christ available even to the poorest of sinners?!!

Like Professor George said yesterday, there is no more comfortable Catholicism. In truth, there never has been. The devil has from the beginning of time gone about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. But in our day he seems to have been unleashed like never before in history.

58 million innocent American children have been killed in their mother’s wombs on American soil in the last 43 years. Where has there been a holocaust like this before?

Yet there is an even greater tragedy in the loss of countless souls. Our Lady of Fatima warned in the early 1900s that more souls go to hell for sins of impurity than for any other reason. At no other time in human history has there been the impurity we see in our world today.

Yesterday Professor George reminded us that life is very short even if we live 90 or 100 years. Compared to eternity, life is but a blip of time and yet in that tiny time we must decide for all eternity to take either the wide and easy way that leads to perdition or the narrow road, strewn with crosses that brings us to eternal life.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

You are amazing people dear Legates.

Some of you were soldiers, you are all warriors.

Some of you are bankers, you are all wise investors.

There is no greater battle, there is no sounder investment.

We must fight the greatest enemy mankind will ever know.

We must secure the only treasure that will ever satisfy.

Rise up you warriors for the soul of America. The battle for life and family is raging and you have been summoned to the fight.

Never, be ashamed of the Gospel, said Professor George yesterday.

Or as Christ Himself put it in Mark 8:38 “For he that shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

And his promise in Matthew 10:32 “Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.”

And later in Matthew 25:34: “Come ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”



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Vatican’s ‘climate change’ light show skipped the most endangered species of all – the unborn child

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December 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – I just watched the rather spectacular light show at the Vatican featuring some of the most dazzling graphics imaginable broadcast onto the façade and dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.  It’s hard to criticize something with so much artistry and beauty. It was a parade of the most endangered species and habitats on the planet in bright color and an impressive sound track to accompany it.

One of the big problems, of course, is that it’s an inappropriate venue for such a show. Just as you wouldn’t store coloring books in the tabernacle or use a chalice to drink your coffee, the façade of a Church consecrated to the worship of God is not the place for a – albeit beautiful – work of political advocacy.

Even if we ignore the difficulty of mixing the sacred with the profane and we turn to the message itself, how could the Catholic Church countenance a display of the world’s endangered animals and habitats and fail to include the most endangered of all – the unborn child?  The habitat of the womb, which was revered as a sacred place of nourishment and care, has become one of the most deadly places on the planet. Wanton dismemberment of innocent human beings takes place by the tens of millions around the globe each year.

STORY: Vatican, World Bank partner to launch Year of Mercy with St. Peter’s ‘climate change’ light show

But those endangered lives, and that habitat, does not fit within the agenda of the Vatican’s partners in the climate change push.  The World Bank, the major financial backer of the venture, is actually on the other side, pushing for the extinction of the right to life for unborn children and to make the habitat of the womb forever hostile to the inviolable protection for God’s children being knit together in the wombs of their mothers.

As the Year of Mercy launches with this show, it makes me wonder if we’re testing God’s mercy rather than celebrating it.



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Watch for yourself: Video of Pope Francis’ remarks on condoms

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December 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – LifeSiteNews’ publication of a news story detailing Pope Francis’ statements on the plane returning from Africa on November 30 has caused much reaction. I will admit it’s hard to believe the pope actually said what he did. I had the same reaction when I saw his comments to the Lutheran Church in Rome about communion. I would have found it hard to believe if I couldn’t watch the video myself.

Some reaction to our coverage suggested that we used faulty translation and did not put the Pope’s words into context. Therefore we’ve put together the video of the Pope’s remarks on the plane about condoms with the official Vatican English translations (Vatican Information Service) at the bottom of the video. In those instances where the Vatican omitted translation we’ve supplied the missing words.

Therefore you can see for yourself what the pope said, in the context given by the Vatican. We stand by our earlier coverage.

STORY: Pope Francis attacks ‘fundamentalist’ Catholics, dismisses condom ban as unimportant

The Vatican’s own rendition says, “A South African correspondent commented on the devastation caused by AIDS in Africa, where the epidemic continues, and where prevention is still the key. He asked the Pope whether or not it was time to change the Church's position on the use of condoms.”

Here is the full text of the Pope’s response as rendered by the Vatican Information Service:

The question seems to me to be too narrow, or rather a partial question. Yes, it is one of the methods; the morality of the Church finds itself before a perplexity: it is the fifth or the sixth commandment, defending life, or that the sexual relationship must be open to life? … This questions makes me think about what they did to Jesus once. 'Tell me Master, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'. It is obligatory to heal! … But malnutrition, the exploitation of people, slave labour, the lack of drinking water: these are the problems. Let us not ask if we can use this sticking plaster or another for a small wound. The great wound is social injustice, the injustice of the environment, the injustice that I have mentioned such as exploitation and malnutrition. … I do not like to make reference to such specific cases when people die for lack of water or hunger, because of their habitat. … When everyone has been healed, when there are no longer these tragic diseases caused by mankind, either by social injustice or to earn more money. … Then we can ask the question, 'is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'. Why do they continue the production and trafficking of weapons? Wars are the greatest cause of mortality. … I would say, do not think about whether or not it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. I would like to say to humanity: ensure justice, and when everyone is healed, when there is no more injustice in this world, we can talk about the Sabbath.

Please see the video for the full remarks:



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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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