R.I.P. Father Richard John Neuhaus

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus passed away this morning.

Joseph Bottum, Editor "First Things"
.....I weep, rather for all the rest of us. As a priest, as a writer, as a public leader in so many struggles, and as a friend, no one can take his place. The fabric of life has been torn by his death, and it will not be repaired, for those of us who knew him, until that time when everything is mended and all our tears are wiped away...

Pete Wehner
...The death of Father Neuhaus is a terrible blow. Not for him, who is now united with his Savior and his Redeemer, in whom Father Neuhaus placed all of his trust and all of his hope; but for us, who have lost one of America's leading public intellectuals, a man of profound wisdom and learning, and a great champion for the unborn. It was Father Neuhaus, along with his dear, long-time friend George Weigel and just a handful of others like Michael Novak, who not only championed the pro-life cause for so many years, but who gave the rest of us both the grounding and the vocabulary to speak on this issue...

Steven Ertelt, Editor "LifeNews.com"
...His influence was so great on the president [Bush] that his catch-phrase of "welcoming unborn children into life and protecting them under law" became Bush's standard line any time he referenced pro-life matters.

That influence was noted as Time magazine, in 2005, hailed Father Neuhaus as one of the top 25 most influential religious leaders in America. Bush, himself, credited with Neuhaus as "helping me articulate these [religious] things.”...

John Allen

...To Catholic insiders, however, it was Neuhaus’ writing rather than his political activism that made him a celebrity. From the pages of First Things, the unapologetically high-brow journal he founded in 1990, Neuhaus kept up a steady stream of commentary on matters both sacred and secular....

...Over the years, even people who disagreed with Neuhaus’ politics or theology would devour his monthly essay in First Things, titled “The Public Square,” for sheer literary pleasure. His combination of epigrammatic formulae and occasionally biting satire often reminded fans of English-language Catholic luminaries of earlier eras, such as G.K. Chesterton or Cardinal John Henry Newman...

I became aware of Fr. Neuhaus one summer when my mother received five years worth of 'First Things' issues. I read every issue cover to cover, saving 'Public Square' for dessert! Through his magazine I came to know how much more there was to know about my faith, and was introduced to many solid thinkers both Protestant and Catholic.

I thank him for expanding my Christian world and improving my library, but most of all I thank Fr. Richard John Neuhaus for his loving service to the Lord, his strong voice of reason and his love for all mankind - especially the unborn.

Not spilt like water on the ground,
Not wrapped in dreamless sleep profound,
Not wandering in unknown despair
Beyond thy voice, thine arm, thy care;
Not left to lie like fallen tree;
Not dead, but living unto thee.

(Sir Joseph Barnby, 1871 - Burial Hymn)

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