Date of Award

Summer 1987

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Thorn, William

Second Advisor

Scotton, James

Third Advisor

Montgomery, Susan


My interest in religious journalism and the fact that I have been and, in all probability, will be associated with that field of journalism led me to choose this subject for my thesis. As a Jesuit, I wanted to learn more about America, the Catholic weekly edited and published by the Jesuits of the U.S. and Canada. I was pleased and surprised to see it referred to not only in Catholic circles, but also in the secular press as eminent, authoritative and influential. Eminent men in religion, politics and journalism have claimed, in one way or another, that America is the authoritative voice of informed Catholic opinion - that it is the pulse-keeper of Catholicism in the United States - that it is a journal that adequately reflects the concerns of American Catholics. I wanted to test that claim by studying America's treatment of a particular issue. Before I learned how deeply the issue of abortion has affected the Church in the U.S ., I was amazed by the intensity of the abortion debate in this country. In India, where I come from, it is barely an issue.