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George Neumayr in a recent videoYouTube / screenshot

Update 3:58 p.m. Eastern time on January 20, 2023: Neumayr’s family released the following statement: “It is with great sadness that the family of George Neumayr announces his untimely passing on January 19, 2023. He was abroad in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, living out his passion for defending the Catholic Faith and the Church’s mission to save souls. He passed away after contracting malaria. The family is devastated by this sudden loss and requests prayers for the happy repose of his soul and the consolation of his family.”

(LifeSiteNews) — George Neumayr, an author and journalist who fearlessly exposed corruption in the Catholic Church, died of malaria last night. He was 50.

He had been in Africa since December 26, 2022, studying Christianity there and “what the Church in the West could learn from it, both good and bad,” according to his journalism fund updates and several articles he wrote from the former French colony.

Neumayr, who was once famously banned from entering Washington, D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception over his reporting on its rector, was a senior editor at The American Spectator and the author of The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives (2017) and The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats’ Crypto-Socialist? (2020). In 2012, he co-authored No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom with social conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly.

Neumayr wrote numerous articles for LifeSiteNews and was beloved by many of our staff. He was known in the greater Catholic journalism sphere for his willingness to show up in person, when least expected, to ask the most uncomfortable of questions of men in the Church who lived the most comfortably.

“We have truly lost one of God’s great warriors for truth,” stated LifeSite’s Jim Hale. “Just before George left for Africa, we had a long conversation about his trip and a big story he was on. I am just heartbroken. There was simply no one like him: a real independent journalist who was absolutely fearless. At the end of our conversation he talked to me about how he wanted to bring justice to the innocent victims and that his goal was to build up the church.”

“He told me that he had decided a long time ago to devote his life to exposing sexual predators,” added Hale.

“We are completely stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the death of our good friend,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. “George was a bulldog of a journalist and a loyal son of Holy Mother Church. His tenacious pursuit of truth was only ever aimed at serving God and the Church he loved in the hopes of seeing Her restored to Glory in a time of deep crisis. His loss as an investigative journalist cannot be calculated and his warm friendship and dry wit will be sorely missed. We thank God for the hope of the resurrection and look forward to the time when we will see him again.”

“George, as anyone who knew him or even read him knew, was one of a kind: fearless, intelligent, and a font of clarity and profundity. And modest and gentle to a fault,” wrote Wlady Pleszczynski, Executive Editor of The American Spectator. “A friend called him ‘ridiculously smart,’ which pretty much captures George. Yet I can only wonder if he knew he can’t be replaced.”

On December 23, 2022, Neumayr tweeted, in the context of reporting on Theodore McCarrick’s “continuing power” in the Church, “I suspect there will be some murders before this is over, maybe even my own. I am not joking. This is getting scary.”

Neumayr was sick seven days ago, “steadfastly refused to go to the hospital,” and the U.S. consulate tested his body for malaria and it was positive, according to the Lepanto Institute.

Neumayr’s trip to Cote d’Ivoire was “absurdly expensive and bureaucratic” because of the necessary coronavirus tests, including one to which “an aspiring Dr. Fauci at customs” made him submit because he was unjabbed for COVID, he wrote on December 28, 2022. “I ended up dropping almost a grand on a negative COVID test, a yellow fever vax, and the visa.”

He was also robbed earlier this month and required assistance from the U.S. embassy. On January 15, 2023 he tweeted that on Saturday he’d been “violently ill from some kind of food poisoning and was wiped out for much of the day.”

LifeSiteNews readers are asked to pray for the repose of Neumayr’s soul and the consolation of his family.

This article has been updated to include statements from Michael Hichborn and Wlady Pleszczynski.