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RIP Christopher Hitchens

imageCatholic Piers Morgan said it well in a tweet this morning:

"RIP Christopher Hitchens – greatest literary provocateur of my lifetime. Huge talent, huge loss.”

And from Vanity Fair (the place to read much about Hitchens today):

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor.

. . . “My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends,” he wrote in the June 2011 issue. He died in their presence, too, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. May his 62 years of living, well, so livingly console the many of us who will miss him dearly.

And the AFP is reporting this morning:

NEW DELHI — India’s Missionaries of Charity order said it would pray for British writer Christopher Hitchens’ soul, despite his aggressive campaign against its Nobel prize-winning founder, Mother Teresa.

"We will pray for him and for his family," spokeswoman Sister Christie told AFP on Friday, upon hearing of Hitchens’ death at the age of 62 after a battle against cancer of the oesophagus.

Asked whether Hitchens, an avowed atheist, would welcome such prayers, she declined to comment.

The iconoclastic Hitchens, who enjoyed great success as a columnist, was among the strongest critics of Roman Catholic saint-in-waiting Mother Teresa, calling her "a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud".

Pray for Christopher.

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