The death was announced last week of Fr Richard John Neuhaus, the founder of “First Things,” and a highly influential figure both in the American Church and behind the scenes in U.S. political life. A former Lutheran minister of long-standing, a collaborator in the civil rights movement with Dr Martin Luther King & Ralph Abernathy, he converted to Rome and was ordained to the priesthood. His writings on the relationship of faith with public life & the place of religion in the public square have much to say to those of us who are concerned with the increasing secularisation of western society, even for those who do not necessarily share the detail of his “neocon” political stance.
His spiritual journey from protestantism to Rome is also significant for all those who are battling with the theological liberalism which is in the ascendant (and in the positions of authority) in so many ecclesial bodies which trace their separate existence to the 16th century:
“I was thirty years a Lutheran pastor, and after thirty years of asking myself why I was not a Roman Catholic I finally ran out of answers that were convincing either to me or to others”
The obituary from “ U.S.A. Today” can be found here;