Daily Archives: September 8, 2010

The Boaster and the Doormat: Public Relations And The Church

Not a good idea

Interesting article from Ann Widdecombe (alas, on the “Guardian”) about the PR attitude of the Church.

In short, Ann Widdecombe if of the opinion that the Church does not defend Herself vocally against the allegations and accusations of the secular press because she does not even make “much of a fuss” when her own priests and nuns are killed. Similarly, the Church does not do even 1% of the PR work of every modern government about the good work  She does everywhere because not to trumpet around one’s good works is Jesus’ instruction. Brilliantly, Ms. Widdecombe sees the link to the brilliant work of the Church to help the Jews during WW II.

This interesting reflections do introduce, though, another problem, promptly recognised by the author. By being so weak, the Church does not help – and in many case, positively confuses – the common Catholics, who may often feel humiliated or ashamed of perceived grave faults, or even slowly detach themselves from proper Catholicism. It is obvious that a true Catholic will always stay with the Church and will not be influenced by malicious propaganda, but if we look at the reality on the ground we must recognise that 40 years of “Catholicism light” have greatly lessened the resilience of ordinary Catholics when the Church is attacked from the forces of secularism and no proper reaction is made promptly available to them.

In my eyes, the most efficient way here lies in the middle. Yes, the Church must not go around trumpeting all her good deeds as if it was a Prime Minister asking his PR staff to glorify the latest “policy”. But at the same time, the Church should be much more aggressive and much more vocal when the issue is not the good the Church does, but the evil other do against Her. If TV channels are gravely biased against the Church, this must be repeated ad nauseam and in time even the thickest heads will get the message; if there are widespread lies about Pius XII’s work during WW II, the Church must take care that Catholics all over the world are correctly informed; if the press gives the impression that the Church is a criminal organisation mainly occupied with keeping Her priests out of jail, statistics and comparisons with other professions and situation must be spread everywhere and no, to profuse oneself in apologies is not enough.

A much more assertive work of proper information of Catholics on current issues would not only avoid the risk of the creation of a diffuse anti-Catholic sentiment (as currently tried in the UK on a vast scale), but would give ordinary Catholics better weapons to deal with the enemies of the Church.

There is a middle way between being a boaster and a doormat.


Inflammable Muslims and Recyclable Korans


After reading this CNS story titled “interfaith leaders denounce anti-islamic actions, call for cooperation” (with the explicit reference to the questionable, but absolutely non-violent Koran-burning exercise planned by a small ecclesial community in Florida) I can’t avoid noticing the double standard.

When Muslim violence (I mean here people being killed, not American flags burned) simultaneously erupts in several parts of the (Muslim) world, the accent of the Western press is generally on the offence created to Muslims, but I can’t recall any massive call to Muslim countries to stop becoming violent every time there’s something they don’t like. They basically say “this cartoon creates violence” or “burning Korans create violence”.

Wrong. Violent people create violence. Cartoons may be in bad taste, but they are not violent. The pathetic attempt to construe cartoon-publishing and koran-burning as “violence” (pathetically espoused by a Muslim chap yesterday evening on the Muslim Self Victimhood Support Club, aka BBC World Service) is utterly devoid of any reality in fact. By depriving the words of their own meaning, leftists and Muslim fanatics open the door to the usual doublespeak so beloved by both leftists and Muslim fanatics the world over. If Koran burning is violence, then everything the Muslim perceive as offensive is violence, and then killing foreigners is just self-defence. Which is exactly the thinking of the Muslim fanatic.

“Oh, but this is our religion”, Muslim whiners always say. “Oh, but this is exactly our point“, we should answer.

Every appeal to not do what might upset Muslims actually encourages them to be upset, because 1) they see how well it works and 2) it encourages them into thinking that they are actually right.  This is the same as not doing everything which might upset a spoiled child. Correct the child instead, it works much better and is a long-term solution.

In the end, I have the strong feeling that the ecclesial community in Florida will announce that it renounces to perform the burning exercise. Still, I think that their initiative – apart from questions of taste – has already achieved its aim: to show the potential for senseless violence inherent in Islam. This should lead everyone to some serious reflections about what you invite in your country – irrespective of your religious convictions or opinion about the opportunity of the ceremony – by doing everything (yes, I am thinking of that Mosque) which encourages its spreading in the West.

Switzerland, a country blessedly deprived of political correctness and immune from the EU-disease, is clearly showing the way.


%d bloggers like this: