It is with a great sense of loss that I read your thoughtful news obituary for the Rev. Neil McCaulley (“Roman Catholic Priest Who Supported Ordination of Women and Married Men,” June 30).
For almost his entire life as a priest, Father Neil was a very active member of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests, a diocesanwide organization of ordained and nonordained women and men who act on their baptismal call to be priests and prophets. Our mission is to carry out a ministry of justice and renewal, rooted in the Gospel and spirit of Vatican II, in ourselves, the Catholic Church and the world.
While Father Neil was loved by the people he served in the many parishes he was assigned throughout his priesthood, he was also greatly valued and respected by those of us throughout the diocese and the National Federation of Priests Councils who embraced his leadership and joined with him and looked to him in the important work of renewal in the Catholic Church following Vatican Council II in the early 1960s.
Well-read and knowledgeable about the church and its teachings, Father Neil was tireless in his passion and conviction for inclusiveness for all within the church, calling for greater justice and respect for the dignity of all. Concerns of Father Neil ranged from the selection process for bishops and the right of due process for priests within the church to opening ordination to women and married priests.
Father Neil, not unlike St. Francis before him and Pope Francis today, took seriously the invitation of God in the words of the Prophet Micah 6:8: “This is what God asks of you, only this … To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.”
Thank you, Father Neil, for your priestly service, your love for the church and your prophetic and courageous witness in our time.
The writer is chair of the Church Renewal Committee, Association of Pittsburgh Priests.