John-Henry Westen: I plead with Church leaders, ‘defend my children’
10 October 2014
John-Henry Westen, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Lifesitenews, addressed a meeting of the Lepanto Foundation on the Feast of the Holy Rosary 7th October 2014.
In his well received talk he urged Catholics, and especially the Catholic hierarchy, to boldly share the truth about human sexuality.
His full talk can be read below
Address given by John-Henry Westen to the Lepanto Foundation, 7th October 2014
Have you ever noticed that almost the whole of the culture war is centered on sexuality?
Abortion, Same-sex ‘marriage’, contraception, adultery, pornography, promiscuity, sex-education, divorce, homosexuality, in vitro fertilization, even embryonic stem cell research are all related to sexuality.
Related to that is the warning of Our Lady of Fatima: “More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”
The sacred union of man and woman in marriage – the conjugal union – is a prime image stamped in mankind of the Trinitarian relationship to which we are called in the life to come. The fathers describe the Trinity as the Father loving the Son completely and the Son the Father completely and that complete giving of Themselves is Itself the Holy Spirit. It is also a key image of Christ’s relationship with His Church.
That Divine union, which is always unitive and procreative is the exemplar of heaven. Christ’s union with His Church is similarly always unitive and procreative. The family based on the always unitive and procreative relations of husband and wife were instituted by the Creator as the preeminent sign of that heavenly calling.
Now, if you were Satan and had as your primary objective to steer mankind away from heaven and Christ, would that not be your first area of attack – to distort the most prominent image of the Trinitarian relationship and that of Christ with His Church?
It is in this arena that we must therefore concentrate much of our effort in winning souls back to Christ. Unfortunately, the ways in which we have communicated the truth of Christ about sexuality, or failed to communicate it, have for the most part caused the loss of the majority of the followers of Christ.
It is precisely in those hard cases where it was believed prudent, or convenient, caring or pastoral, to be silent and appease the prevailing culture.
In the vast majority, Christians and even Christian leaders all over the world have:
– failed to make the argument against contraception, and for openness to life; have failed to make the argument against in vitro fertilization and support respect for God’s ordained method of procreation;
– failed to make the argument against homosexual acts and thus for chastity in the midst of hard temptations;
– failed to make the argument against divorce and for the permanence of holy matrimony
– failed to make the argument against immodesty and for the practice of custody of the eyes.
And what has come of these lapses in teaching? Has the silence of the Church led to cultural peace in these matters? No.
The rampant practice of contraception has inevitably led to the abortion holocaust. Unchecked immodesty and total lack of custody of the eyes has brought us to the near universal addiction to pornography. In vitro fertilization gave us embryonic stem cell research. Divorce has given the world a brokenness beyond compare. Homosexual acts by their acceptance have led to homosexual ‘marriage’ and even restrictions on the freedom of religious practice in various nations.
Where can we begin to reverse the cultural tsunami of distortion of sexuality?
We must begin with CARITAS IN VERITATE. It is the answer of Christ, of His Mother and of the Church.
It is not love to allow your children to rampantly misbehave without correcting them. Speaking as a father of eight children I will admit that it is often easier to turn the other way and purposely fail to notice misbehaviour. But out of love parents must correct and discipline their children.
So too the Church, especially Her shepherds – the fathers of souls – must feed the flock, must teach the truths however difficult and politically incorrect. That is true love.
Let us take up one of the most difficult topics today in the area of sexuality. One very many are loathe to discuss – the topic of homosexuality.
The last decade has seen the erosion of the traditional definition of marriage in many nations mostly in the West but increasingly the threat to the family is felt in the developing world.
Apart from the numerous medical journals that have pointed out the dangers involved in homosexual acts, at certain times homosexual activist leaders have themselves admitted these dangers.
On Feb 17, 2009 Canada’s largest gay paper XTRA reported on a group of homosexual activist who were demanding Canada’s healthcare system pay more attention to the “gay community”
Gens Hellquist, one of the complainants, was the executive director of the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition a leading homosexual activist group. He explained at length his concerns about the health status of homosexual men and women in Canada.
He observed: “We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country … Health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV/AIDS.”
He continued: “There are all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community. We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer …
And powerfully he concluded: “Now that we can get married everyone assumes that we don’t have any issues any more. A lot of the deaths that occur in our community are hidden, we don’t see them. Those of us who are working on the front lines see them and I’m tired of watching my community die.”
THE SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE
Far beyond any other consideration, life is all about deciding where we will spend eternity – in heaven or hell.
With such a stark reality, is it not a truly loving act to warn those given to homosexual acts or any other sexual aberration that they imperil their eternal life?
What if Our Lady of Fatima were right, that more souls go to hell for sins of impurity than any other sin?
This spiritual perspective – the love of souls which seeks to save the wayward Catholic despite the political incorrectness, the loss of human respect and the social awkwardness it would entail, is the answer to some of the most divisive debates in the hierarchy today. The recognition of the eternal consequences of actions would definitively end the vast disagreement among bishops over the reception of Holy Communion for pro-abortion politicians.
Throughout most of North America and Europe only a small minority of Bishops have agreed to follow the advice of the Vatican, of the Holy Father, and make the difficult but necessary decision to deny Holy Communion to obstinate pro-abortion Catholic politicians. The vast majority choose to ignore the matter and some say publicly that they would never deny anyone Holy Communion.
In truth however, those who refuse to discipline their wayward spiritual children by denying them Communion are lacking in love, lacking in pastoral care.
You may rightfully ask who am I, a simple layman, to be telling bishops and priests what to do.
I am not telling them what to do. I am begging them to do what is right as taught by the Holy Father.
As a father of eight young children I am begging them for the sake of these little ones.
I am myself a convert from addiction to aberrant sexuality. My cross was not homosexuality but pornography. I was on the other side, living a life far from the Church for many years.
Thankfully I did not have someone tell me it was alright. My late father was a devout and faithful Catholic who attended daily Mass and never let a day pass without saying his rosary. Even when I was a child he would tell me “I’d rather see you die right now than fall into a life of sin.”
I know the pain, guilt and horror of life on the other side and the beauty, joy and hope of this blessed life working with great life and family leaders all over the world and unworthy though I be, a husband and father of eight wonderful children.
As a father of young children I plead with faith leaders all over the world: ‘Defend my children.’