Fr. Richard John Neuhaus: Rest In Peace

neuhaus

Richard John Neuhaus, 1936–2009

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of friends, he died.

My tears are not for him–for he knew, all his life, that his Redeemer lives, and he has now been gathered by the Lord in whom he trusted.

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.

Funeral arrangements are still being planned; information about the funeral will be made public shortly. Please accept our thanks for all your prayers and good wishes.

In Deepest Sorrow,

Joseph Bottum
Editor
First Things

Click here to go to First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture,  and Public Life 

Fr. Neuhaus’ Essay About Death

The “Last Lion” of Abortion

 

The “Last Lion” of Abortion

Sen. John McCain responded to the news of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s brain tumor saying that Ted Kennedy was the “last lion of the Senate.” Nice words, but hollow. Clearly Kennedy has been a forty-year force to reckon with in the US Senate, but lionizing him for his headstrong political partisanship over four decades is a little like saying that sticking around for a long time and being opinionated qualifies as a “legacy.” That very record of anti-life advocacy is the measure by which his soul will be judged.While I pray for Sen. Kennedy’s recovery from a brain tumor, I pray more for his recovery from the cancerous metastasis of abortion ideology in his soul. Ironically, in the same years in which abortion has become less and less acceptable to the American public, it has become more and more of an obsession for Sen. Kennedy.
                    
Prior to Roe v. Wade, Sen. Kennedy had actually held a pro-life view of the sanctity of life. In a letter to a constituent he said,
“While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized – the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.”
         
                        
However, post-Roe, Kennedy’s record of recognizing the “value which our civilization places on life” has been, shall we say, less than stellar. In fact, he has a 0% record of voting in favor of life, and there is not one life-related issue in which his vote reflects a concern for the weakest members of our society, let alone the concern that his supposed Catholic faith places on them. Senator Kennedy is rated 100% by NARAL for his pro-choice voting record.
  • Voted NO on banning human cloning.
  • Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions.
  • Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.
  • Voted NO on criminal penalties for harming an unborn child during the commission of another crime.
  • Voted NO on maintaining the ban on military base abortions.
  • Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.
  • Voted YES on $100 million to “reduce teen pregnancy” by hedonistic sex education programs and contraceptives.
  • Is a sponsor of pending radical legislation in the Senate to promote special protections for homosexuals in the workplace.
  • (See http://www.ontheissues.org/
    Social/Ted_Kennedy_Abortion.htm
    )
In other words, Kennedy has spent the better part of his long political career promoting the forces that kill and maim and destroy all the things that we hold sacred. What a shocking example of public service for a man who purports to call himself Catholic.
                    
A month to the day after illicitly receiving Communion at the Mass of the Vicar of Christ in our nation’s capital, Sen. Kennedy seems to have been given a real wake up call. When all moral voices go unheeded, the prospect of death tends to focus the mind on the truth. Let us all pray for his conversion from a career of abortion advocacy, for his enlightenment and for a peaceful death, something denied to all aborted babies in this country.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

   
Sincerely Yours in Christ,Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International