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.

Reese entered the Jesuit Order in 1962 and was ordained to 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, editor-in-chief at America 1998-2005 and returned to Woodstock 2006, where he stayed to 2013. He was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by President Barack Obama.[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]

Following his resignation, Reese spent a year-long sabbatical at Santa Clara University before being named a fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington, D.C.



  • 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.
    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. ^ Thomas Reese, Presentation at NCR
  2. ^ a b Roberts & Allen, NCR, 2005
  3. ^ James Martin, S.J., Drew Christiansen, SJ Completes His Mission, America, September 28, 2012