WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Father Richard John Neuhaus, a former Lutheran minister who became a Catholic priest and a staunch defender of church teaching on abortion and other life issues, died Jan. 8. He was 72. Funeral plans were incomplete. The founder and editor in chief of the journal First Things, Father Neuhaus ... often was invited to lecture and participate in panel discussions on religion in the contemporary world. His views on abortion, stem-cell research, cloning and social issues contributed greatly to Catholic and other religious discourse on politics and society. He also regularly consulted with President George W. Bush on bioethical issues. In 2005 Time magazine named the priest one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. The magazine described him as having "a fair amount of under-the-radar influence" within the Bush administration.