Commentary By John-Henry Westen
FRONT ROYAL, VA, September 1, 2010, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following the recent announcement that Fr. Tom Euteneuer has left Human Life International to return to his diocese, it seems appropriate to comment on his years of dedication to the pro-life cause.
For many of us at LifeSiteNews, he has been one of the most outspoken and courageous leaders in the pro-life movement. This short commentary and accompanying video is a tribute to a friend and colleague for whom I have great respect. And like any tribute to a great man, he can be best saluted by reviewing his actions.
Courage and heart are Fr. Euteneuer's defining characteristics. The incident for which he is most famous (or infamous depending on your outlook) is his interview on the Fox News show Hannity and Colmes. He was invited onto the program for having called on famed Catholic conservative and Fox News personality Sean Hannity to repent for publicly backing birth control. See the video.
Hannity blasted Fr. Euteneuer for daring to 'judge' him, but Father persisted and would not relent. The program famously ended with Hannity asking Father if he would deny him communion to which Father replied frankly and in charity in the affirmative. A shock to Hannity, sure, but one which may yet lead to Hannity's turn around on the issue. In charity, Father could not let Hannity persist in calling himself Catholic while publicly espousing positions contrary to the faith.
Fr. Euteneuer was and is very much of a modern-day prophet. In an interview last January with LifeSiteNews which was picked up around the world, he warned of a coming global disaster. He bases his intuition on a look at the collapse of ancient civilizations which, after reaching a pinnacle, collapsed from moral decay.
In his recently released book on Exorcism, Fr. Euteneuer, himself an exorcist, warned that "Never in all of history have we seen evil promoted so effectively and the true good so roundly mocked and rejected as in this age of extreme technological prowess." He explains: "the difference between the modern world and past generations is that Satan has a greater ability to use groups and institutions for increasing his wicked reach into human life and society."
The former HLI President did not shy away from controversies even when they involved important Churchmen. When Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl said in an interview that he would not deny communion to pro-abortion politicians, Fr. Euteneuer noted that the Vatican had in fact ruled that he should do otherwise.
When Nancy Pelosi went to the Vatican to greet the Pope, Father publicly stated that he hoped she would not be granted a photo-op and that the pope would "give her a stern lecture on contraception and abortion and let her know that her eternal salvation is in danger." He even suggested that "this would be the perfect opportunity to formally excommunicate the Speaker."
While she wasn't excommunicated, the pope did gently lecture her and incidentally also denied her a photo op.
Fr. Euteneuer has always been good for a pointed, insightful quote on current news developments. His comments went straight to the heart of the issues, without any consideration for political correctness or fear of causing unintended offense when proclaiming the truth was the needed act of true charity.
We at LifeSiteNews wish Father Euteneuer well in his future endeavors and pray that our many friends at Human Life International, the world's largest pro-life organization, will find another leader of similar caliber.