I’d like to wish you an uneventful retirement, even though you and I both know, let’s face it, that you’re swiftly approaching your own Best Before date. Soon, you’ll be shuffling off to go meet Jesus in person, likely a comforting prospect for a frail almost-86-year old cleric.
Meanwhile, you may wonder why you haven’t heard from me sooner, way back when you first donned your white zuchetto skullcap. Continue reading →
Earth to the Catholic Church: if you won’t go after your priests, the law will go after you.
That’s the lesson that Bishop Robert W. Finn learned recently. The leader of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was convicted in court for not telling police that one of his priests, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, had taken hundreds of lewd images of the genitalia of little girls – some as young as 2 years of age.
Ratigan, age 46, has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. If convicted, he could face a minimum 15 years in prison.
Finn’s historic conviction is the first time that a Catholic bishop in the United States had been held accountable in criminal court in the nearly three decades since the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals first came to light. Continue reading →
As a veteran of the public relations field since the 1980s (with a niche interest in crisis communications and reputation management in corporate, government and non-profit sectors), I’ve always been intrigued by really good examples of really bad PR practice in action.
The Penn State scandal has been one in which the optics, as we say in PR, were truly dreadful. So, like slowing down for a train wreck, let’s revisit this case – but from a unique perspective. Continue reading →
Happy Anniversary to us! Me and The Nag. Actually, one and the same. Two short years ago today, I launched this baby sibling to my Heart Sisters blog.
My first post here was about how to read the extra-fine print at the bottom of scientific journal articles to see who’s paying for the positive results being reported in research studies. I’d already built up quite a head of steam over at Heart Sisters about what’s known as marketing-based medicine. I was on a roll, except the roll had almost nothing to do with my important focus of women and heart disease – our #1 killer. As a heart attack survivor who now takes a fistful of cardiac meds every day, I realized that I had no clue which of these drugs were being prescribed for me based on industry-influenced medical journal articles and tainted clinical research. And worse – neither did my doctors.
Best to separate the sibs, I decided, so I could easily divide the emerging cardiology updates there and the marketing rants over here. Continue reading →
German Cardinal Walter Kasper, an aide to Pope Benedict, had been scheduled to travel with the Pope during his official state visit to the U.K. in 2010. But just before departure, he pulled out of the trip “for health reasons”, according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.
Perhaps what Lombardi actually meant to say was that the German cardinal seemed quite healthy at the time, but may have feared for his health if he ever sets foot on British soil. That’s because BBC Radio Scotland had reported that Cardinal Kasper actually told the German magazine, Focus:
“Someone landing at Heathrow Airport near London could mistake Britain for a third-world country, given the variety of people there.”
This is yet again another bizarre example of why the Pope and his pals so desperately need to stop talking to the media until they figure out what the heck is wrong with the way their brains are functioning. Continue reading →
“For more than a thousand years, becoming a nun was the best – and often the only – way for a young Catholic woman to get an education and to earn a modicum of independence. In the modern West, though, women have many other options preferable to joining a ‘patriarchal apartheid’ in which female clerics are given no voice in the power structure and yet are expected to submit to it.”
That’sLisa Miller, author of Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With the Afterlife – bad news for organizations described as ‘patriarchal apartheid’.
You have both a catastrophic public relations and staff recruiting crisis at hand. Continue reading →