Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Pontiff and the Press – by Ross Douthat – The New York Times

Here’s John Allen, analyzing the Vatican’s approach to the abuse firestorm in the wake of Benedict’s private meeting with sex abuse victims on his trip to Malta:

By insisting that these meetings occur only in private and without media coverage, the pope has also demonstrated a determination that they not become public spectacles – in part, perhaps, to avoid impressions of exploiting the victims to score PR points…

… Nobody who cares about the Catholic Church should want to see Pope Benedict engage in a “spin-saturated crisis management strategy.” But the “we can’t win, so why respond?” approach to unfair press treatment has a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, the media deck is stacked against Catholicism. Yes, there are reasons why this pope, in particular, is unlikely to get a fair shake from the secular commentariat. But the church is a missionary organization, the secular world is its missionary field, and influencing “secular public opinion” is one of its most important tasks. And that means finding effective ways to engage with the mass media, even — or especially — when you’re facing a storm of criticism. Read more - by Ross Douthat – The New York Times

No comments: