Skip to comments.Editor of Jesuit Magazine Leaving
Posted on 05/06/2005 3:09:10 PM PDT by ndkos
VATICAN CITY - The editor of the Jesuit weekly America is leaving the magazine after the Vatican received complaints about articles he published on touchy issues such as same-sex marriages and stem cell research, Jesuit officials said Friday. ADVERTISEMENT
The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a widely respected expert on the Catholic Church and the Vatican who was editor for seven years, is being replaced by his deputy, the Rev. Drew Christiansen, the magazine said in a statement.
Jesuit officials in Rome and the United States, who spoke on condition they not be identified, said some American bishops had contacted the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about articles in the magazine over the years that had presented both sides of controversies over sensitive church issues.
The Vatican has had a sometimes tense relationship with the Jesuits, some of whose members in the past have questioned papal pronouncements on birth control, priestly celibacy and the ban on women priests.
The magazine had made a point of publishing broad points of view including some that clashed with church teaching irking some Catholics in the United States and Rome, the officials said.
Some of the hot-button issues included gay priests, stem-cell research, whether Catholic politicians can be denied communion if they support abortion rights, and same-sex unions.
The magazine also wrote about a Vatican document that outlined the idea that divine truth is most fully revealed in Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular.
The document "Dominus Iesus" was issued in 2000 by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith the office that was headed by German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI last month.
Critics complained the document could set back Church efforts to reach out to other Christians and believers outside the Church.
Reese is based in New York where the magazine is edited. He was in Rome for the election of Benedict, who had enforced a hard line on church doctrine and silenced theologians who diverged from it in his 24 years as Pope John Paul II's orthodoxy watchdog.
While in Rome, Reese met with his superior who mentioned there had been complaints about a couple of articles, a Jesuit official in Rome said. The official said Reese had left Rome with the idea he would resign.
Any response to complaints from U.S. bishops or Vatican officials would be made by the Jesuit General in Rome, the Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, and the 11 Jesuit leaders in the United States.
In the statement from newly named editor Christiansen, he noted that under Reese, the magazine often gave two sides of the debate on sensitive church issues and that made it more relevant.
"By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese helped make America a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the church and the country today," Christiansen said.
When contacted Friday, Reese said only that his tenure ends on June 1 and that he would move immediately to California and continue in his Jesuit ministry. He referred other comment to his news release.
In that release, Reese praised Christiansen, whom he had recruited in 2002.
He said he was "proud of what my colleagues and I did with the magazine, and I am grateful to them, our readers and our benefactors for the support they gave me. I look forward to taking a sabbatical while my provincial (regional boss) and I determine the next phase of my Jesuit ministry."
An official at the Jesuit headquarters in Washington, the Rev. Albert Diulio, said Reese and his provincial supervisor had reached the decision together, and noted that Jesuits tend to rotate jobs every six or seven years.
Diulio said he could not comment on any other reasons behind the change.
An official with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declined to comment on the matter. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said she had no information.
The Jesuit order founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1540 is renowned for its intellectual rigor and its excellent teachers, scholars and scientists. The Vatican has at times taken aim at its independence.
In the most recent publicized incident, John Paul named a temporary replacement to lead the order after the Rev. Pedro Arrupe suffered a crippling stroke in 1981, brushing aside Arrupe's choice for an interim leader in an unprecedented change-of-command.
Arrupe, who died in 1991, had pushed for the church to move for a more socially just world while remaining faithful to papal authority. But during his tenure, some Jesuits especially in the United States and the Netherlands challenged Vatican pronouncements on birth control, priestly celibacy and the ban on women priests.
Associated Press writer Frances D'Emilio contributed to this article.
During the conclave, I saw Thomas Reese on (I think) MSNBC as an "analyst". I wanted to whack him upside the head. He is just too smarmy.
It's not the first time I've seen him on television, and not the first time I wished I could whack him upside the head.
""The cafeteria is closed.""
I for one couldn't be happier!
And another one's gone, and another one's gone, and another one bites the dust!
Heck, let's start a notch pole on these kind of "displacements". This is going to be fun it appears.
Papa Ratzi ... the gift that keeps on giving ...
Don't forget Fr. Fessio, too...
"Papa Ratzi ... the gift that keeps on giving ... "
I pray for his health. Four good years of his leadership will do wonders IMHO.
It may. Let's remember the Pope's request at the end of his installation homily: "Pray that I will not flee in fear of the wolves."
(Wouldn't it be great to hear Bush say this?)
His Conclave appearances were my first glimpses at him. He's quite sly in the way he dissented there--only a couple of hints.
But 'smarmy' is a good descriptor.
Un-man-like is another.
Thanks. That takes care of 10 of the leaders. I'm not sure who the 11th would be. Perhaps a Superior General for the US?
"At last count we could identify 12 US Jesuits who were actually Catholic."
I think you have overestimated. Do you have the names?
Schall, Baker, uh, well, Healy, Fessio, Mankowski, uh, ah,....I give up.
Vatican, Feb. 10 (CWNews.com) - The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has condemned the work of an American Jesuit theologian, and barred him from teaching.
In a "notification" approved by Pope John Paul II (bio - news), and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (bio - news), the Congregation said that the work of Father Roger Haight contained serious doctrinal errors, and forbade the Jesuit priest from teaching theology until the errors have been corrected. The notification was dated December 13, 2004, and made public by the Vatican this week. The Vatican notification came after a 5-year investigation, prompted by the publication of Father Haight's book, Jesus Symbol of God. During the investigation, Father Haight had resigned his teaching post at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Father Haight, whose work was devoted to inter-religious dialogue, argued that God's grace was active through non-Christian religious traditions. After an examination of the book, and repeated questioning of the author, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found that Father Haight's work conflicted with key Catholic teachings, including the doctrines on the Trinity, the Incarnation, the divinity of Christ, the salvific power of Christ's Sacrifice, the Resurrection, and the unique role of the Church in the economy of salvation.
Soon after the book was published, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found that Jesus Symbol of God contained serious doctrinal flaws. In July 2002 the Congregation submitted a list of errors to Jesuit superiors, inviting Father Haight to correct his work.
Father Haight is the second Jesuit theologian whose work has drawn a formal rebuke from the Vatican in the past five years. In February 2001, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warned of doctrinal errors in the work of Father Jacques Dupuis, a Belgian Jesuit and former professor at the Gregorian university, who died in December 2004. In the case of Father Dupuis, too, the central doctrinal problems cited by the Vatican involved the unique role of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church in the work of salvation.
Lets not forget the late Fr. John Hardon S.J. He's in Heaven praying for us, but his books are still available and awesome.
Thanks for posting that article. I hope if Christiansen is like Reese than his stay will be very short.