America (Jesuit magazine)

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File:America (Jesuit magazine).jpg
Editor Matt Malone, S.J.
Former editors Drew Christiansen, S.J. Thomas J. Reese, S.J
Categories Roman Catholicism
Frequency Weekly
Circulation 45,000
Publisher American Jesuits
First issue  1909 (1909-month)
Company America Press Inc. (Society of Jesus)
Country United States
Based in New York City
Language English
ISSN 0002-7049

America is a national weekly magazine published by the Jesuits of the United States. It contains news and opinion about Roman Catholicism, and how it relates to American politics and cultural life. The magazine is headquartered in midtown Manhattan, and has a circulation of approximately 45,000.[citation needed] The magazine is also available online.


The publication was founded in 1909 in New York City and the Jesuits still maintain and publish the weekly magazine. The former editor in chief, Thomas J. Reese, S.J., called America the "Catholic PBS".

With its Jesuit affiliation, America is sometimes perceived[1] to have a liberal leaning view on Catholicism, though their editorial positions have run the gamut of political and ecclesial opinion. In the early 1950s, under the leadership of Robert Hartnett, S. J., the magazine criticized Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was often championed by Catholics of the day[who?] for his supposed anti-Communism, and the magazine and its editor suffered for that stand.[how?]

Under the leadership of Thomas J. Reese, S. J. from 1998-2005, the magazine sought to offer Catholic viewpoints representing more than one side of sensitive issues. Consequently, the magazine sometimes published articles and opinion pieces taking positions contrary to official Catholic social teaching on matters such as homosexuality, priestly celibacy, HIV/AIDS, and the roles of women in the Catholic Church. This caused the magazine to come under increasing scrutiny by the Vatican; Father Reese was forced to resign in May 2005 under orders from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic administrative office that monitors adherence to Catholic doctrine. The directive reportedly came in mid March of that year from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—the later Pope Benedict XVI, who was the head of the CDF at the time and whose work had also appeared in the journal. The CDF had been reportedly monitoring America for at least four years prior and had at one point threatened to impose a committee of censors to review the magazine’s content.[2]

In 2009, under the leadership of Drew Christiansen, S.J., the editorial board gave support to an invitation for President Barack Obama to receive an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame, which was controversial after directives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops discouraged pro-choice politicians and activists from being honored at Catholic universities.[citation needed]

On October 1, 2012, Matt Malone, S. J. became the 14th editor-in-chief. He was the youngest editor-in-chief in the magazine's history. In September 2013, the magazine published an interview with Pope Francis, conducted by fellow Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, S. J., and in the autumn of 2012 became the first Jesuit journal in the world to publish an edition that had been edited and written entirely by women.[citation needed] In the spring of 2014, Father Malone announced that America would open its first Rome Bureau and that Gerard O’Connell would be its Vatican correspondent.


  1. Boorstein, Michelle (2013-06-28). "America, a popular intellectual Catholic magazine, bans terms 'liberal,' 'conservative'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-07-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Tom Roberts and John L. Allen, Jr., "Editor of Jesuits' America magazine forced to resign under Vatican pressure;, National Catholic Reporter, May 6, 2005]

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