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Trump, the Church, and Latin Mass: a discussion with LifeSite DC reporter Claire Chretien

Young people are 'the heart of the pro-life movement' and 'the heart of the Church,' Claire said.
Tue Jan 28, 2020 - 4:02 pm EST
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January 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — It was an absolute joy to be in Washington D.C. last week for the March for Life. Not only did I have the chance to take a stand for the most innocent in our society but I had the great pleasure to record an episode of The John-Henry Westen Show with LifeSite’s very own Claire Chretien.

Claire is our Washington D.C. correspondent. She is a gift to the pro-life movement in every way. A newlywed, Claire’s enthusiasm for the unborn and her strong Catholic faith are evident to everyone who meets her. Her contributions to LifeSite have been immense over the last few years.

I spoke with Claire amid the flurry of activity at the National Pro-Life Summit. For the fifteen minutes or so that we had together, we discussed President Trump’s speech at the March for Life and talked about her views on what’s going on in the Church, especially her love of the Latin Mass.

“This wasn’t just the first U.S. president coming to the March for Life. This was the first U.S. president ever coming to the March for Life and giving an incredible pro-life speech,” she exclaimed. “His speech was one of the best presidential speeches he’s ever given.”

“Everyone who wasn’t at the march but who was watching that from home probably had tears in their eyes seeing it,” Claire continued. “It was extremely incredible that he came but it what he said was just as significant if not more significant. I think it was just a shot in the arm for all of us.”

Claire also told me that when she rewatched Trump’s speech again later in the day and she was close to tears at some parts of it.

I asked Claire for her thoughts on what’s going on in the Church in America. I wanted to see how a young person in their twenties sees what’s happening.

There are “some really good trends and some really bad trends,” she said. In her estimation, a lot of the clergy appointed by Pope Francis “do not seem to be very faithful to the Church.” Being “hip, and young, and cool is not appealing to me,” she explained. “I want my bishops to act like bishops.”

When I travel around the world, one thing I notice is the prevalence of young people who attend the Latin Mass. Claire agreed with me, saying that young people “are the heart of the Church” and that they want orthodoxy, truth, and moral clarity and charity.

“The Latin Mass is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven. I like the Latin Mass because it brings me closer to God. It’s not about being horizontal. It’s not about who you're with and the community that you feel. It’s about you praying up to God and the priest helping you pray to God.”

“When the Church tries to be cool and do these rock shows, the world is better at rock shows than the Catholic Church,” Claire said. “The Catholic Church is better at truth, beauty, and goodness than the world. So we don’t need to be like the world. We need to be distinct.”

There is a rich theology in the Latin Mass, Claire added. “Every single action that the priest does has a very deep significant theological meaning.” Bishops “seem startled” when I tell them I attend the Latin Mass, she informed me.

Claire and I conclude our brief discussion by focusing on what gives her hope in such dark times. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars…things are really bad, things in the world are really bad..but because it’s really dark, we can see now more clearly than ever the brightness of Jesus in the Church.”

Claire added that a solid, well-ordered family life where the husband is the head of the household is essential before going out and changing the culture. “If we don’t have strong families that teach self-sacrifice and virtue we can’t show that to the world.” 

“I trust [my husband] to lead…the man is the head and the woman is the heart.”

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

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and ACast. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the ACast webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so that we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].


  claire chretien, latin mass, march for life 2020, pope francis, president trump, the john-henry westen show

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