Jesuit editor resigns after reported clash with Vatican

 Fr Thomas Reese SJ, editor of the New York-based Jesuit weekly, America, for the past seven years, has resigned from the post, "after pressure from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" according to an article in The National Catholic Reporter this weekend. The paper said that over the course of a four-year dialogue between the doctrinal congregation and the Jesuits, the Vatican congregation had raised objections to various editorial choices at America under Fr Reese's editorship, including: articles critical of Dominus Jesus; an essay exploring moral arguments for the approval of condoms in the context of HIV/AIDS; several critical analyses of the doctrinal congregation's September 2000 document Dominus Iesus, on religious pluralism; an editorial criticising a 'lack of due process' in the congregation's procedures for the investigation of theologians; an essay on homosexual priests; and a guest essay from US Rep David Obey of Wisconsin, challenging suggestions that the church should refuse Communion to Catholic politicians who support current abortion laws. Since Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope, Fr Reese argued that the Vatican should consider scrapping celibacy for priests and ordaining women. "A Church that cannot openly discuss issues is a Church retreating into an intellectual ghetto," he wrote in an editorial recently. A press release from America magazine, issued on Friday, announced that the new editor is Fr Drew Christiansen SJ, who was associate editor. Fr Christiansen said in the release: "I know I am speaking for all the editors in saying that we are sorry to see Tom go.... Fr Reese greatly improved the magazine, adding news coverage, colour and the web edition. By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Fr Reese helped make America a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the Church and the country today." In the release, Fr Reese said: "I am 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 and I determine the next phase of my Jesuit ministry." Sources: America/NCP/YC

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