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.
Thomas J. ReeseFebruary 28, 2013
More questions and answers about the next pope from Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
Thomas J. ReeseFebruary 20, 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
Thomas J. ReeseJanuary 24, 2013
Q&A on Papal Transition, Conclave & Election of New Pope
Thomas J. ReeseApril 26, 2010
What can European bishops learn from the U.S. sexual abuse crisis?
Thomas J. ReeseApril 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

Thomas J. ReeseApril 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.

Thomas J. ReeseFebruary 28, 2005
The recent hospitalization of Pope John Paul II has revived interest in numerous questions about what happens to the church when a pope is sick and what would happen if he became disabled.What happens to the church when a pope becomes ill? If the pope becomes sick, he can delegate some of his a
Of Many Things
Thomas J. ReeseAugust 02, 2004
Everyone recognizes that the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church was not caused only by the sinful failures of individual priests; it was also caused by the failure of a number of bishops to deal appropriately with these priests. There were not just personal failures; there were also personne
Thomas J. ReeseMarch 22, 2004
For those who have been following the sexual abuse crisis in the American Catholic Church since the mid-1980’s, the reports by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People provided confirmation of hunches and the destruc
Of Many Things
Thomas J. ReeseFebruary 23, 2004
Every organization has people who work behind the scenes out of the limelight, to make sure that everything gets done that needs to be done. They do not get the headlines, but no organization can survive without them. America had such a person for 40 years as our business manager and controller. Jam