My farewell letter to the Pope

Dear Pope Emeritus Benedict/Your Holiness,

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

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

As a recovering Catholic (and educated by the  nuns of Mt. Mary Immaculate Academy, a convent boarding school), I’ve been closely following the systemic child sexual abuse scandals that have disgraced this church for many years.

And as somebody who has spent over three decades in the public relations field, I’ve also been following one inept church leader after another who conspired to protect predator priests in some kind of bizarrely inexcusable attempt to safeguard the reputation of their institution. This was commonly done by simply transferring known abusers from parish to parish where they could then find fresh new victims. Recently, I read this conclusion in 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.”

The trouble is, these words were not written about the Roman Catholic church.  Continue reading

Why the Pope needs media training

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