Richard John Neuhaus

Richard John Neuhaus was a prominent Christian cleric (first as a Lutheran pastor and later as a Roman Catholic priest) and writer. Born in Canada, Neuhaus moved to the United States where he became a naturalized United States citizen. He was the founder and editor of the monthly journal First Things and the author of several books, including The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America (1984), The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Postmodern World (1987), and Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth (2006).

recent articles

The Catholic Moment: A Decade Later

In the company of good friends, after a more than adequate dinner and with a cigar worthy of the merlot, I am usually inclined to a roseate view of the Church and the world. But The Catholic Moment was not written after dinner. Nor was this little essay. The editors, however, have asked me to … Read more

The Secret of Saint Philip Neri

The readings for the day of St. Philip Neri include St. Paul’s counsel to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice.” St. Philip took St. Paul at his word. “Allegramente! Allegramente!” he regularly urged his companions, inviting them to “be of good cheer.” The accounts of Philip depict a person … Read more

The Prophetic Humanism of Evangelium Vitae

Gloria Dei vivens homo. “The glory of God is man fully alive.” This classic assertion of Irenaeus is the driving motif of Evangelium Vitae and, I would suggest, the driving motif of the teaching of this pontificate. Evangelium Vitae is much more than instructions on what is necessary to advance “the culture of life” joined … Read more

The Catholic Way of Being American

Can Catholic Americans be trusted in the public square? That question may strike some as anachronistic. Surely, they might say, it is an outdated question that is no longer pertinent to our day or to the call for a vibrant Catholic participation in American public life. After all, we do not live in a time … Read more

That They May All Be One: The Pope’s 12th Encyclical

Orthodoxy, both upper case and lower case, is at the heart of Pope John Paul II’s twelfth encyclical, Ut unum sunt (That They May Be One). The document underscores the priority of East-West relations in the Catholic Church’s understanding of the ecumenical imperative, with the pope repeatedly emphasizing that we can settle for nothing less … Read more

To Propose the Truth: The Catholic Moment Requires Five Transformations

Seven years ago in The Catholic Moment, I contended that the premier responsibility for the Christian mission rests with the Catholic Church—the premier opportunity, and therefore responsibility, for evangelization and cultural transformation in America and the world. I am regularly asked whether The Catholic Moment has been missed or is now past. The answer is … Read more

Ratzinger’s Theology: Freedom Is Made Possible By Rules

The ways in which Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II address the question of theology and authority is frequently described as “integralism.” They are accused of integralism, needless to say, by their opponents, for integralism is a very unpleasant word in the history of Roman Catholic thought. Integrisme was the motto of a … Read more

Neibuhr and Now: Religion, Ideology and Politics

Strange that small Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, should be the site of statements by which an epoch is marked. It was there, in March of 1946, that Winston Churchill declaimed (and Churchill always declaimed): “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” And it … Read more

Ecumenism and Authentic Renewal: A Response to Paul Johnson on Papal Strategy

For the sake of restoration and authentic renewal, thoughtfully conservative Catholics should embrace John Paul II’s strategy for Christian reunion. Paul Johnson’s “The Strategy of John Paul II” (C in C, Sept. 1984) is a spirited and insightful statement which contributes greatly to our understanding of what this Pope may be up to. The following … Read more

Perspectives — The Bishop Malone Statement

It is reasonable to hope that the 1984 campaign will be remembered as a moment of significant change in the way Americans understand the social experiment of which they are a part. Bishop Malone’s statement on behalf of the USCC reinforces that hope. Others will and should criticize aspects of its reasoning, both with respect … Read more

Review Essay: In The Case Of Michael Harrington

In one of the sixteen appendices to his new and intriguing book Michael Harrington notes, “In a sense, Engels went through the stages of development [in his thinking about religion] which, he and Marx thought, would be the common experience of the working class and society as a whole.” The same might be said of … Read more

Is Nothing Secular Anymore?

I haven’t been keeping count, but in recent conferences and conversations I have several times heard people refer to the secular media as “the so-called secular media.” I doubt very much that they mean the media pay more attention to religion than is commonly thought. No, the “so-called” is intended to say something not about … Read more

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