Pro-Life Advocates Mourn the Loss of Intellectual, Father Richard John Neuhaus

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 9, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocates Mourn the Loss of Intellectual, Father Richard John Neuhaus

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 9
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Top Catholic intellectual and author Father Richard John Neuhaus passed away Thursday morning from complications of cancer. has received an outpouring of emails from pro-life groups and leaders expressed their sadness at the loss of a great pro-life intellectual.

Below are some of the responses we’ve received from pro-life advocates:

President George W. Bush: "Laura and I are saddened by the death of Father Richard John Neuhaus. Father Neuhaus was an inspirational leader, admired theologian, and accomplished author who devoted his life to the service of the Almighty and to the betterment of our world. He was also a dear friend, and I have treasured his wise counsel and guidance."

"He was a brilliant and devoted son of the Church who will be sorely missed. Indeed, he is irreplaceable." — Catholic League director Bill Donohue

“As a former board member and generous supporter of the work of Americans United for Life, Father Neuhaus inspired us and a generation of pro-life leaders, and we will strive to carry on this work with unwavering determination.” — Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life

“Father Richard Neuhaus consistently worked to encourage religious leaders to understand the centrality of the sanctity of human life as an issue of civil rights, and to put aside denominational differences and work together for the common good of protecting the unborn. He never wavered on the centrality of the life issue as a matter of human rights and social justice." — close friend George Weigel

House Republican Leader John Boehner: "The life and ministry of Father Richard John Neuhaus have had a profound influence on a generation of intellectuals and Christian believers. His legacy will be one of building bridges across theological lines in the defense of life and truth. Active in liberal politics before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Father Neuhaus went on to become one of the most coherent voices in defense of the sanctity of life."

Neuhaus’ web site First Things had this to say: "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."

Dave Andrusko, NRL News editor: "Fr. Neuhaus was a pro-life stalwart if ever there was one."

"With his passage from this world [we mourn] not only the passing of an heroic defender of truth, especially in higher education, but also of a beloved advisor, generous supporter and dear friend. Those of us left behind will be blessed by Father Neuhaus’ voluminous corpus of works and grand legacy—and now his prayers of intercession—for many years to come." Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society

"Neuhaus sought to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society, one in which the extremes of theocracy or rigid secularism were declined in favor of open engagement between religion and public life." — James Tonkowich, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy

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