Archbishop John C. Wester

Birthday: 5 November 1950

Bachelor’s Degree – Saint Patrick College, Mountain View, CA
Master of Divinity – St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park, CA
Master’s in Spirituality – University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Master’s Degree – Holy Names College, Oakland, CA

Ordination: 15 May 1976
Episcopate: 18 September 1998
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Archbishop John C. Wester on the Issues

Viganò testimony

Does not support Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Wester said he was “disturbed” that Archbishop Vigano went public with his statement. Wester said Vigano’s testimony “and other attempts to promote a certain agenda” turn the focus off abuse victims and onto “ecclesial politics” between “conservatives and liberals.” Wester also said he is “saddened by those who attack Pope Francis and even go so far as to call for his resignation. Incredibly, some of these attacks are from my brother bishops,” he added. Wester proceeded to praise Pope Francis for having “not wavered in his dedication to the poor and marginalized.” (Archdiocese of Santa Fe)

Amoris Laetitia

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • Wester was one of only a handful of U.S. Bishops to attend Cardinal Blase Cupich’s “Understanding Amoris Laetitia” symposium at Boston College in October 2017. The event was attended by dozens of liberal theologians and Jesuit scholars. Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta delivered a speech at the event. In his remarks, Gregory appeared to say Amoris Laetitia calls for pastors to allow communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. Pro-gay Bishop Robert McElroy was also in attendance. (National Catholic Reporter)

Pro-life leadership

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  • Wester has a long history of engaging in social activism for the environment, against nuclear weapons and labor issues. However, he is not known for being a pastor who strongly supports the rights of the unborn. A profile written in the Santa Fe New Mexican in February 2018 documents his social justice efforts but notes very little about any past history where he campaigned against abortion. (Santa Fe New Mexican)
  • In 2014, while serving as bishop of Salt Lake, Bishop Wester wrote a strongly worded letter aimed at shaming the Utah state legislature into expanding healthcare access. The letter made no mention of abortion but did argue that Utah “cannot proclaim itself a pro-life state so long as it refuses to provide access to basic health care coverage to a significant portion of its citizens.” (Intermountain Catholic)


Does not uphold Church teaching on homosexuality
  • Archbishop Wester invited a liberal, pro-homosexual association of U.S. priests to have their 2018 conference in his diocese. The group supports women deacons, lay-run parishes and wants to have an open discussion in the church about married priests. Vendors at the conference included several dissident, pro-homosexual groups. Pro-LGBT merchandise was also available for attendees. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In a 2018 interview, Archbishop Wester encouraged the Church to act more pastorally towards those who experience same-sex attraction. Wester stated that when one encounters “gay Catholics,” we should not “put them down and say they’re bad.” Rather, Wester encourages people to “communicate with them” because “God loves all his children.” (Santa Fe New Mexican)
  • In June of 2016, Arcbhishop Wester agreed to provide “assistance and support” to a liberal, pro-homosexual group of priests as its new Episcopal Moderator. He is currently listed as such on the group’s leadership page. (LifeSiteNews)

Abortion politics

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  • In 2017, Archbishop Wester signed a letter along with several New Mexico bishops condemning Catholic politicians in New Mexico who support abortion and physician-assisted suicide. The letter said these politicians “do not represent” the Catholic Church’s teaching and that their actions “publically separates a person from communion with the Catholic faith.” (Catholic Herald)
  • Archbishop Wester rebuked a priest in his diocese who, during the 2016 election cycle, put up a sign on the side of his parish that read “Vote Catholic, Vote Pro-Life.” The priest urged parishioners to not vote for pro-abortion candidates and informed them that Hilary Clinton was endorsed by Planned Parenthood. In response, Archbishop Wester wrote a public letter stating that Church leaders do not have the right to “endorse or denounce a candidate because of his or her position on a given issue.” Wester said Church leaders are to “avoid endorsing or opposing candidates or telling people how to vote.” The editorial board for the Albuquerque Journal wrote an editorial defending the parish priest against Wester, who they said seemed to “emphasize that abortion is just one thing for a Catholic voter to consider.” (Church Militant)


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“LGBT” ideology

Does not uphold Church teaching on “LGBT” ideology
  • In 2018, Archbishop Wester allowed Fr. Richard Rohr to speak in his diocese. Rohr is a self described “progressive” who has presided over “commitment ceremonies” between same-sex couples. Rohr has also stated that “Binary genders are more an imposition of our dualistic minds than the nature of reality.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • Archbishop Wester strongly endorsed a book written by pro-gay Vatican consultant Fr. James Martin. The book does not mention the sinfulness of homosexual acts, fails to call on homosexual persons to live chaste lives, and demands the Church change its teaching on LGBT issues. Wester said the book was “courageous” and gives witness to “the Gospel message of inclusion.” (Harper Collins)
  • While serving as bishop of Salt Lake in 2013, Wester expressed support for a pro-“LGBT” bill that bans workplace and housing “discrimination” against persons due to their “sexual orientation.” We “felt that this legislation honored the rights of both the LGBT community as well as the religious community,” Wester said at the time. (Church Militant)


Does not support reverent liturgy
  • At the 2018 Association of U.S. Catholic Priests meeting in Albuquerque, Wester said a mass outdoors that included a Native American “Eagle Dance prayer” performed by members of the local Pueblo communities. (Voice of the Faithful)
  • During the Mass of installation for Archbishop Wester at Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Wester allowed young men to perform the “Eagle Dance.” This is a Pueblo dance where the participants dress as eagles and perform a dance offering praise and exaltation to God. (The Catholic Sun)

Marriage and Family Life

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Not enough evidence collected on this issue