Worried that the Catholic Church isn’t taking firm enough action to address the current pedophilia crisis?
Worry no more, at least if you are in the Diocese of Los Angeles. ‘Cause they’ve hired a high-priced public relations firm.
This is a bit of a fish, barrel, gun story in terms of the opportunity it presents for bashing on the Church. But I’m going to attempt to restrain myself and step back a bit. Is there a legitimate case to be made that the Church does actually need such advice?
I think the case could be made if you believe that the Church is doing the right things, and is simply getting pilloried in the press unfairly. Picture a scenario where the Church genuinely is doing all the right things, is helping people in all different ways, but is being attacked by the press, just because the press corps is a bunch of meanies. Would it make sense for them to get advice on how to improve their image then, so that they can regain their popularity and continue to help more people? Probably.
So I don’t think it is fair to dismiss totally out of hand this kind of a move — although I do view it with grave suspicion. It comes down to exactly how you view the actions that they are taking to address the crisis itself. If you feel they’re doing all the right things now and are still getting bashed by the media, then a step like this might make sense.
But if they really aren’t addressing the core issues and are taking this action instead of true reform: then, there’s just no excuse for it. And I’d say go ahead and pull the trigger on that little fishy in the barrel.
Footnote: I originally heard this story on NPR yesterday in the early evening. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find it on their website. If I do I’ll add a link; perhaps they just haven’t archived it yet.