Thomas Reese

The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest, is a Senior Analyst at RNS. Previously he was a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter (2015-17) and an associate editor (1978-85) and editor in chief (1998-2005) at America magazine. He was also a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University (1985-98 & 2006-15) where he wrote Archbishop, A Flock of Shepherds, and Inside the Vatican. Earlier he worked as a lobbyist for tax reform. He has a doctorate in political science from the University of California Berkeley. He entered the Jesuits in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1974 after receiving a M.Div from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

All Stories by Thomas Reese

Six things you need to know about Pope Francis and gay civil unions

October 23, 2020

(RNS) — Pope Francis’ comments about civil unions for same-sex partners in a new documentary have caused a stir. How to understand his positions.

Dear Pope Francis, six reasons you should wear a mask

October 20, 2020

(RNS) — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, almost all the photos of Pope Francis have shown him without a mask. Here are six reasons he should change his ways.

How to make our politics better: Pray first, says a Jesuit guide

October 14, 2020

(RNS) — The kind of prayer recommended by a new pamphlet on civic engagement is the kind that helps us listen, detached from our own preconceptions and prejudices.

Election checklist: Five ways Catholic parishes can keep politics out of church

October 7, 2020

(RNS) — Most Catholics don’t want politics to divide their parishes, but the wise pastor will prepare for the worst.

Five things to look for in Pope Francis’ new encyclical, ‘Fratelli Tutti’

October 4, 2020

(RNS) — ‘Fratelli Tutti’ (‘Brothers and sisters all’), the new papal encyclical is an important teaching document that must be read by anyone who wants to know where the pope is coming from.

Amy Coney Barrett’s religion is important but irrelevant

September 26, 2020

(RNS) — People of different faiths, as well as people of no faith, joined together to support or oppose specific policy goals without having to share the same motivations. What mattered was agreement on policy goals, not motivation.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an incrementalist, not a revolutionary, once questioned Roe v. Wade

September 23, 2020

(RNS) — As we honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we may take to heart her advice on maintaining stability and faith in our institutions. 

National Catholic Prayer Breakfast award for Barr divides Catholics

September 21, 2020

(RNS) — Getting together for breakfast and prayer should not be controversial, but the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is dividing Catholics along partisan lines with its plans to honor Attorney General William Barr a little more than a month before the November election.

Catholics should vote for Biden, says former bishops’ conference official

September 17, 2020

(RNS) — Carr also reports that divisions among the bishops in 2019 kept them from updating their voter guide to reflect current issues and the teachings of Pope Francis.

Vatican causes chaos by invalidating baptism formula

September 15, 2020

(RNS) — The real problem is that the Vatican is treating the traditional words of baptism like a computer password.

Is Kamala Harris anti-Catholic?

September 10, 2020

(RNS) — It is important to distinguish anti-Catholicism from anti-clericalism.

Pope Francis’ new papal encyclical could be derailed by its seemingly sexist title

September 8, 2020

(RNS) — Let us pray that the encyclical’s language does not distract from its content.

Trump or Biden? What’s a Catholic voter to do?

August 27, 2020

(RNS) — In order to be totally in line with Catholic social teachings, you would have to be a pro-life liberal Democrat. These unicorns have a hard time winning elections.

In ‘Life After the Pandemic,’ Pope Francis hopes COVID-19 will change us

August 20, 2020

(RNS) — In a compilation of recent speeches, the pope expresses his fear that the COVID era will increase ‘the selfishness of particular interests.’

Five things Pope Francis should do while imprisoned by the pandemic

August 13, 2020

(RNS) — Reforms to the Vatican’s financial system, the Curia and how the church prevents clergy sexual abuse are the ecclesial equivalent of cleaning the basement and the attic, but now’s the time.

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