It is not clear whether Thomas Reese was forced, pressured or strongly encouraged to resign as editor of the Jesuit weekly America. It’s widely assumed that his departure was connected to the election of the new pope, Benedict XVI.
Father Reese has been a much sought-after commentator on issues of faith, culture and the church. Though I have never met him, I have always been grateful for his leadership, clarity of thought and courage. America is in much the same business as the Christian Century: it provides a forum for Christians to discuss important issues in an atmosphere of freedom and dialogue. In the process, America published and was criticized for articles that questioned official Roman Catholic teaching on gay marriage, stem cell research and the salvation of non-Christians.