"The loss of Neuhaus to the effort for an honest ecumenism, a robust and stylish debate over matters liturgical, cultural, political and literary in his death is monumental. Who will replace him? Indeed, I can almost hear Richard’s deep, sonorous voice countering me, “Robert….we are each unrepeatable, irreplaceable.”
Still, in the death of Richard John Neuhaus, America has lost one of its most capable and finest interpreters and the Church has lost (or better, gained for ever) one of her most loyal sons. As he wrote:
Death is the most everyday of everyday things. It is not simply that thousands of people die every day, that thousands will die this day, although that too is true. Death is the warp and woof of existence in the ordinary, the quotidian, the way things are. It is the horizon against which we get up in the morning and go to bed at night, and the next morning we awake to find the horizon has drawn closer.
He sought to teach how to live better lives and die good deaths. Now we must learn and embrace an old-fashioned practice that is nonetheless essential: grieving. I will grieve over his good death in all the days that I have left and count myself honored beyond words, to have been a friend."