Thomas J. Reese, S.J., is a senior analyst for Religion News Service. Previously he was a columnist at The National Catholic Reporter (2015-17) and an associate editor (1978-85) and editor in chief (1998-2005) of America

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Faith Explainer
October 30, 2017
An interview with David Collins, S.J. about persecution and execution of witches.
Faith Last Take
October 23, 2017
It is time for the laity to speak out and act like true disciples of Christ in spreading the joy of the Gospel. 
February 18, 2016
Religion in Vietnam today looks markedly different than it did 40 years ago.
In All Things
March 11, 2013
When should we look for white smoke Until a pope is elected twice a day there will be black smoke around noon and 7 PM White smoke could appear at these times or earlier around 10 30 AM or 4 30 PM if a pope is elected on the first ballot of the morning or afternoon Read Father Reese 39 s full Q
February 28, 2013
More questions and answers about the next pope from Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
February 21, 2013
What is the precedent for a pope to resign?TR: The number of popes who may have resigned has been estimated as high as 10, but the historical evidence is limited. Most recently, during the Council of Constance in the 15th century, Pope Gregory XII resigned to bring about the end of the Western Schis
January 24, 2013
Q&A on Papal Transition, Conclave & Election of New Pope
April 26, 2010
What can European bishops learn from the U.S. sexual abuse crisis?
April 12, 2010

When the clergy sexual abuse crisis exploded in the United States, most Vatican officials and European churchmen considered it an American problem. Then when Canada and Ireland experienced a similar crisis, it became an “English speaking” problem. Rather than seeing the crisis in the United

April 18, 2005

What happens when the pope dies?


The interregnum and election of a new pope are governed by the rules established in the 1996 constitution Universi Dominici Gregis (Of the Lord’s Whole Flock) of John Paul II.