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. ReeseMary Ann Glendon
Religion in Vietnam today looks markedly different than it did 40 years ago.
In All Things
Thomas J. Reese
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
Thomas J. Reese
More questions and answers about the next pope from Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
Thomas J. ReeseKenneth E. Untener
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. Reese
Q&A on Papal Transition, Conclave & Election of New Pope
Thomas J. Reese
What can European bishops learn from the U.S. sexual abuse crisis?
Thomas J. Reese

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 States as a warning to put their own houses in order, too many European bishops continued with business as usual, believing that the crisis would not touch them.

Now that the crisis has arrived in Europe, what can the European bishops and the Vatican learn from the U.S. experience?

Begin with the context. The sexual abuse crisis did not start in Boston; it first came to public attention in the mid-1980s with a court case in Lafayette, La. The crisis was covered by the National Catholic Reporter long before the Boston Globe noticed it. It was in the mid-80s that insurance companies told bishops such cases would no longer be covered in their liability insurance. This should have gotten the attention of any prudent C.E.O.

Thomas J. Reese

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. Reese
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. Reese
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