|Editor||Matt Malone, S.J.|
Drew Christiansen, S.J.Thomas J, Reese, S.J
|Company||America Press Inc. (Society of Jesus)|
|Based in||New York City|
America is a national weekly magazine published by the Jesuits of the United States that contains news and opinion about Catholicism and how it relates to American politics and cultural life. America also has an extensive digital presence.
The publication was founded in 1909 in New York City and the Jesuits still maintain and publish the weekly magazine. It has a circulation of approximately 45,000. It describes itself as "a smart, Catholic take on faith and culture, the magazine for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking.” Each week the magazine provides editorials and news on the church, moral and social issues, along with book and movie reviews. The former editor in chief, Thomas J Reese, S.J., called America the "Catholic PBS".
With its Jesuit affiliation, America is sometimes perceived to have a liberal leaning view on Catholicism, though their editorial positions have run the gamut of political and ecclesial opinion. In the early 1950s, under the leadership of Robert Hartnett, S. J., America criticized Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who was often championed by Catholics of the day for his supposed anti-Communism, and the magazine and its editor suffered for that stand.
More recently, under the leadership of Thomas J. Reese, S. J. (1998-2005), America sought to offer readers Catholic viewpoints representing more than one side of sensitive issues. Consequently, the magazine sometimes published articles and opinion pieces taking positions contrary to official Catholic teaching on matters such as homosexuality, priestly celibacy, AIDS, and the roles of women in the church. This caused the magazine to come under increasing scrutiny by the Vatican; Father Reese was forced to resign in May, 2005 under orders from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic administrative office that monitors adherence to Catholic doctrine. The directive reportedly came in mid March of that year from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—the later Pope Benedict XVI—himself, who was the head of the CDF at the time and whose work had also appeared in the journal. The CDF had been reportedly monitoring America for at least four years prior and had at one point threatened to impose a committee of censors to review the magazine’s content.
In 2009, under the leadership of Drew Christiansen, S.J., the editorial board gave support to an invitation for President Barack Obama to receive an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame, which was controversial given the directives from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops discourage pro-choice politicians and activists from being honored at Catholic universities.
On October 1, 2012, Matt Malone, S. J. became the 14th editor-in-chief. He is the youngest editor-in-chief in the magazine's history. Under Father Malone's leadership, the magazine has sought to include a greater diversity of Catholic voices. In September 2012, America published an interview with Pope Francis, conducted by fellow Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, S. J., and in the autumn of 2012 became the first Jesuit journal in the world to publish an edition that had been edited and written entirely by women. In the spring of 2014, Father Malone announced that America would open its first Rome Bureau and that Gerard O’Connell would be its Vatican correspondent. The magazine is headquartered in midtown Manhattan.
- America Magazine online (Subscription required for access to full text)