One of the truly great Catholic apologists has died.
Fr. Neuhaus was a convert and the founder and editor of the great journal First Things, which was a real treasure to discover when I did as a convert.
The final pages of each issue have traditionally been devoted to Fr. Neuhaus’ reflections, The Public Square, which I always read straight away upon receiving the magazine.
Here is an excerpt from the news of his passing from First Things.
“Our great, good friend is gone.
“Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away 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 soon after, 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.”