John-Henry Westen

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Unite the Clans: Michael Matt on Catholicism in the time of Pope Francis

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Unite the Clans: Michael Matt on Catholicism in the time of Pope Francis

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October 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Today in Rome I had the pleaure of sitting down with Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant Newpaper. Earlier this week, Michael and I participated in Voice of the Family’s Amazon Synod Roundtable discussion. For this episode 32 of The John-Henry Westen Show, he and I talk about a wide range of issues, including his family background, traditional Catholicism, and his “Unite the Clans” initiative.

Matt told me that his “cantakerous” German Catholic ancestors heeded the call of Pope Leo XII to defend the Faith and became journalists. He said the perception some might have of him isn’t true, and that he is really interested only in upholding the Faith and “respecfully resisting” those who want to drastically change it. “I was well catechized by Catholic nuns,” he told me. “There seems to be a different message” sent by the Church today.

Speaking of men like Michael Davies and French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Matt says that it “broke their heart” to “be at odds with the pope.” But it’s simply “not reasonable” to believe that the Church finally got Catholicism right in 1965. We cannot be right today and have been wrong for two millennia, he said.

Matt, a father of 7, told me he wants to be able to dispense with the “traditional Catholic” label. He said he feels “a lot of hope” in these times and that he’s not interested in “telling someone where to go to Mass.” Rather, he wants to unite the various Catholics who make use of the FSSP, SSPX, ICKSP, etc. for Mass and “focus” their efforts on “a common cause.”

“Let’s stop attacking each other,” he told me. “This is a golden opportunity to become more constructive.”

He and I also spoke about St. Louis de Montfort; the Chartres Pilgrimage he runs; and the Catholic Identity Conference, an event he began organizing several years ago. “Humanly speaking,” Catholics must do everything they can to “help” those who see the crisis, including clergy, he said. Ultimately, though, “this Church is too big for us to fix...the only one who can save the Church is God.”

Matt said that going forward, tradition-minded Catholics need to “have Christian charity” toward other Catholics who don’t see eye to eye with them. We need “a united front.” We need to “restore all things in Christ,” he said, and that includes homeschooling, the Latin Mass, praying the rosary, and everything else about our faith.

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 Pippa. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the Pippa.io webpage here.

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

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John-Henry Westen

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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.