Thursday, January 08, 2009

Richard John Neuhaus, R.I.P.

Father Richard John Neuhaus has died. I had no idea he was even ill.

In a season full of blows to the prospects of the cultural and religious renewal I've hoped for, now this comes.

First Things magazine was a big part of what got me headed back to the Catholic Church in the 1990's. Joe Bottum will do a good job as editor, but he won't be Fr. Neuhaus. No one will be.

He was quite a champion. I met him once, at the 1998 C. S. Lewis Foundation's conference in Cambridge, England. Just asked him a question after his talk, about how to nudge the big Protestant church I was then attending toward a pro-life position. He was every bit as gracious and witty in person, extempore to a perfect stranger, as he was in print to the public at large.

Go with God, Fr. Neuhaus. Everything is ready now.