Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, Bishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Seattle, died on July 22 at the age of 96. His funeral liturgy will be celebrated August 1 at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.
He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Helena in 1946. In July 1962, Pope John XXIII appointed him Bishop of Helena. A significant amount of his first four years as a Bishop were spent at the Second Vatican Council. He embraced the Council’s reforms and was dedicated to implementing them. He was especially passionate about ecumenism, liturgy, and collaborative ministry.
In February, 1975, Pope Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Seattle and he was installed on May 22 of that year. He was known for his strong commitment to peace and justice, ecumenism, and multi-culturalism. He placed emphasis on equipping lay men and women for ministry and, in 1980, he wrote a pastoral letter on valuing the gifts of women. The Archdiocese became one of the first in the nation to address child sex abuse. Revered as an outspoken advocate for the poor and marginalized, Archbishop Hunthausenlater took great delight in the election of Pope Francis.
Archbishop Hunthausen's passion for peace became known around the world when he protested the proliferation of nuclear weapons, including the housing of missile submarines in Puget Sound. The controversy grew in 1982 when he withheld part his personal income taxes and placed the monies in a peace fund. A Vatican investigation followed and two successive coadjutor bishops were later appointed.
The Archbishop retired in 1991. He spent the later years of his life in Montana with family and finally in a nursing facility in Helena. He is being remembered as a “man of prayer and a man of God.”
May the Angels welcome him to Paradise.