.- The president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, has issued a tribute to the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus praising him for his life-long efforts at ecumenism.
Father Neuhaus was a noted Lutheran theologian who converted to Catholicism in 1990. He was the founder of the journal First Things and was known for advocating for the place of religion in the public debate through his Institute on Religion and Public Life. Fr. Neuhaus passed away on January 8 at the age of 72.
Cardinal George issued the following statement:
"Many are grateful for the service that Father Richard John Neuhaus offered to the entire Church, especially through his contributions at the Institute on Religion and Public Life. He was an exemplary priest and a personal friend.”
"As the testimonials from persons of all faiths have shown, Father Neuhaus's work in the area of ecumenism was appreciated by those who saw the importance of working together for the common good of our nation. He had the ability to engage in dialog that was intellectually honest, fully respecting each person while remaining true to his own faith.
"Father Neuhaus will be deeply missed. His life and work were a great gift to the Church and to the country he loved so much. It is my prayer that the Lord will bring him quickly home."
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops