Thomas J. Reese

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Thomas J. Reese, SJ, (born 1 November 1945) is an American Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, author, and journalist. He is a senior analyst at National Catholic Reporter, and a former editor-in-chief of the weekly Catholic magazine America.

Life and works[edit]

Reese entered the Jesuit Order in 1962 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1974. He has a Ph.D. in political science from University of California, Berkeley. He was an associate editor of America 1978-1985, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center from 1985-1998, and editor-in-chief at America 1998-2005, He resigned from America in 2005 and spent a sabbatical year at Santa Clara University, where he continues to contribute as a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.[1]

Fr. Reese resigned after seven years as the editor of America due to pressure from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Vatican.[2][3] Over a period of five years, the congregation objected to various editorial decisions made by Reese concerning certain issues addressed in the magazine, notably priestly celibacy and the ordination of women.[2] On Reese's resignation, widespread media carried statements of regret that a voice from the loyal opposition to some current Church policy was leaving in silence.[4]

In 2006 he returned as a fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington, D.C. Reese has been writing for the National Catholic Reporter since 2013, and is senior analyst there.[5] He was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2014 and in 2016 was elected chair of the Commission.[6]



  • The Politics of Taxation. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.
  • Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989.
  • Episcopal Conferences: Historical, Canonical, and Theological Studies (editor), Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1989.
  • The Universal Catechism Reader (editor), San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990.
  • A Flock of Shepherds: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Kansas City, MO.: Sheed & Ward, 1992.
  • Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church, Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University, 1996.
  •  NCR eBook, Caring for Our Common Home: A Readers’ Guide and Commentary on Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment (2015).[5]
    In Het Vaticaan: De Organisatie van de Macht in de Katholieke Kerk, Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Bert Bakker, 1998.
    Im Inneren des Vatikan: Politik und Organisation der katholischen Kirche, Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 1998.
    O Vaticano por dentro: A Política e a Organização da Igreja Católica, Bauru, Brasil: Editora da Universidade do Sagrado Coração, 1999.
    No Interior do Vaticano: A Política e Organização da Igreja Católica, Portugal: Publicações Europa-América, Lda., 1998.


  • Communication II: Decision-Making Examined, Jesuit Self-Study California/Oregon Provinces, 1969.
  • The Generation Gap, Jesuit Self-Study California/Oregon Provinces, 1971.
  • 95th Congress Rated on Tax Reform, Arlington, VA: Taxation with Representation, 1978.
  • Co-Discipleship in Action: Bishops and Laity in Dialogue, Woodstock Theological Center, 1991.


  1. ^ University, Santa Clara. "Thomas Reese, S.J. - Fellows - People - About the Center - Markkula Center for Applied Ethics - Santa Clara University". Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts & Allen, NCR, 2005
  3. ^ James Martin, S.J., Drew Christiansen, SJ Completes His Mission, America, September 28, 2012
  4. ^ "Touchstone Archives: A Tale of Two Jesuits". Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  5. ^ a b Thomas Reese, Presentation at NCR
  6. ^ "Jesuit Father Thomas Reese Appointed Chair of U.S. International Religious Freedom Commission". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 2017-06-24.