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.


Posted on September 8, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Boaster and the Doormat: Public Relations And The Church.

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