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Thomas Reese

The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest, has been a Senior Analyst at RNS since 2017. 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

McCarrick scandal shows why popes, like John Paul, should not be canonized

By Thomas Reese — November 17, 2020
(RNS) — The fact that John Paul advanced McCarrick in the hierarchy despite warning he received from Vatican officials and Cardinal John O’Connor makes some wonder why he should be considered a saint. Canonizing popes is more about ecclesial politics than sanctity.

Worse than bungling, McCarrick report shows Vatican failed to take abuse seriously

By Thomas Reese — November 11, 2020
(RNS) — The Vatican report on McCarrick shows that something worse than mere incompetence was at work in the Vatican’s failure: clericalism.

Once feared as Vatican meddling, Catholic ideas could help America move forward

By Thomas Reese — November 9, 2020
(RNS) — Americans once feared that Catholic politicians would push Rome's agenda. But in divisive times, we could do worse than implementing the Church's principles of reconciliation and multilateralism.

Five takeaways from the 2020 election

By Thomas Reese — November 7, 2020
(RNS) — We know — have known — that we must do more listening and less preaching. If we cannot, our future is bleak.

In 2020, ‘nonexistent’ Catholic vote will be crucial — again

By Thomas Reese — October 29, 2020
(RNS) — It’s not who Catholics are or what they believe, but where they are and their enthusiasm for voting.

With 9 new electors, Pope Francis remakes the college of cardinals

By Thomas Reese — October 25, 2020
(RNS) Over seven years, Pope Francis has gradually remade the college of cardinals, making it less European and more African and Asian.

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

By Thomas Reese — 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

By Thomas Reese — 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

By Thomas Reese — 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

By Thomas Reese — 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’

By Thomas Reese — 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

By Thomas Reese — 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

By Thomas Reese — 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

By Thomas Reese — 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

By Thomas Reese — 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.
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