Catholic hierarchy: a safe haven for predator priests

The first Catholic bishop ever convicted in the U.S. of failure to report suspected child sexual abuse is now refusing to resign – and the Pope is refusing to fire him. In the past year, however, the Pope has fired other bishops suspected of financial improprieties or who wanted the church to debate the issue of allowing women priests. It’s yet another extraordinary example of the church’s utter ignorance of the PR basics of reputation management. Continue reading

The endangered species called Catholic nuns

Why modern young women are no longer interested in entering “a ‘patriarchal apartheid’ in which female clerics are given no voice in the power structure, yet are expected to submit to it.” Continue reading

When the cover-up is almost as despicable as the crime

As a recovering Catholic, I’ve been following the church’s horrific child sex abuse scandal, and the systemic cover-up by senior church leaders of their predator priests. Recently, I read this conclusion from a famous report: “The most saddening finding is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders for the safety and welfare of the child victims. There was no attempt to investigate, to identify victims, or to protect any other children from similar conduct.”

But the really sad thing is this: the report wasn’t about the Catholic church at all. Continue reading

The Vatican’s abuse response: “a PR failure, carnage, nightmare and train wreck”

The Catholic Church’s attempts to explain decades of its systemic protection of predator priests show the Vatican hierarchy to be “profoundly out of touch with the perceptions and values of everyday people.” Continue reading

Penn State’s PR train wreck

“The golden rule of public relations is you have to get something out in the first 60 minutes. And mentioning the victims always comes first. Bad news doesn’t get better with time. When you cede the message to (critics or adversaries), you lose the battle.” So warns a veteran PR lecturer at Penn State about how his own university dropped the ball in a most spectacularly tragic fashion. Continue reading