Catholic Church Now in Crisis Mode

After reading in today’s Wall Street Journal that the Roman Catholic Church is now trying to craft consistent messaging in order to deal with the allegations of abuse among its priests, I don’t know whether to say “Hallelujah” or just shake my head in disbelief. After all, this huge problem for the church has gone on for years, and to now be putting a crisis communications plan in place—creating an internal response team in place and monitoring media—seems like too little too late, or does it? It appears that one of the problems is at the top: the Pope is not regularly in touch with the Vatican’s communications team, instead talking to advisors who “communicate his thoughts.” This morning, a quick Google search of “Catholic priests” yielded topics on abuse, pedophiles and celibacy in 8 out of the top 10 first-page slots. That can’t be good. My question is, how can the Catholic Church undo  years and years of PR neglect? Is uniform messaging, a redesigned Web site and a Twitter page a good start?

–Scott Van Camp

  • Terry Welch

    No. There are some problems that go beyond “messaging.” Until the church makes meaningful, substantive policy changes–and, quite possibly, some important personnel changes–it will continue to have the reputation its actions have earned.

  • Maurice Otieno

    You can do all the uniformed messaging you want and get yourself on all the social networks. However, good old Public relations tells you that when confronted with such a deep sitted issue that faces a colossus like the Catholic Church, you’ll have to go beyond twitter and facebook.Let us clean the inside with the Pope touching base with his communications team first,and let that team (which has a history behind it) start doing its work. If you have a dog, let it do the barking!

  • Paul Mahoney

    My CEO likes to say that sometimes you can’t communicate your way out of a situation into which you have behaved yourself. The clergy has always chosen a unified defensiveness over facing its problems. They will reap the fruits of that approach for many years no matter how carefully they deliver new messaging.

  • Ashley White

    I do agree that the Catholic Church did not need to wait so long to find a way to fix their problem, but now that they are on their way to adjusting their public relations, they may see a change. Hopefully this change will be for the better. Many things were going on with the Catholic Church, as most of the word knows, but I really hope, that with the decision to get good PR out on the table, they will be more successful and not looked down on. We all learn from our mistakes, so there is no doubt in my head that their church will take this awful situation and learn from it.

  • gabriel liam miller

    there is always tomorrow