Contact: Suzanne Morse 617-680-2131, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
Members of Voice of the Faithful Dismayed by Ouster of Fr. Thomas Reese from America Magazine
May 9, 2005 – Newton, Mass. – Leaders of Voice of the Faithful are expressing concern about the forced resignation of Fr. Thomas Reese from his position as editor of America, a Jesuit-run magazine. It was announced on Friday that Fr. Reese will leave his position in June. He tendered his resignation rather than allow the magazine to have a Vatican-imposed “board of censors” regulate the magazine’s content.
“Catholics in the United States want, and need, a robust discussion of moral issues and ideas,” said James E. Post, president of Voice of the Faithful. “Fr. Reese provided an editorial direction that enabled America to serve its readers well. The magazine has contributed to the development of better informed Catholic laity. Fr. Reese’s resignation is a setback to the notion that Catholics should be challenged to think about the complex ethical issues of our times by understanding all sides. It is extremely disappointing that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was less interested in the Pope’s words at his installation, ‘… to listen, together with the whole church’ than to shutting down an opportunity to do precisely that kind of listening.”
The concerns about Fr. Reese’s leadership at the magazine came from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. According to reports, the office had been applying pressure on Society of Jesus officials to remove Fr. Reese for several years.
“Fr. Thomas Reese has been providing thoughtful, insightful commentary on the Catholic Church for years,” said Suzanne Morse, communications manager of Voice of the Faithful. “At all points, he has tried mightily to understand and to be present to the many diverging opinions within Catholicism. This action removes an important voice in Catholicism today. It moves us away from achieving the kind of ‘shared responsibility’ we all hope to see in the Catholic Church, since Fr. Reese was instrumental in educating so many about the ideas and operations of the Church.”
About Voice of the Faithful: Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) is a worldwide movement
of concerned mainstream Catholics formed in response to the clergy sexual abuse
crisis. The group's mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the
Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance
and guidance of the Catholic Church. Its goals are to support victim/survivors
of abuse, support priests of integrity, and shape structural change within
the Catholic Church in full accordance and harmony with Church teaching. VOTF’s
supporting membership exceeds 30,000 registered persons from 50 U.S. states,
39 countries and 210 Parish Voice affiliates throughout the world.