Honestly, do I have to go to Rome and storm the press office of the Holy See, and sit the curia down and pull their hats off to smack them upside the head? Must I bang on their desks and say:
“stupido! Stupido! PR IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! On the rare occasion where you’ve done something that will bring you a cautious measure of good will, or at least less-hostile reportage, you don’t tie it in with a controversial issue and allow nonsense equivalences to be drawn by people who do not move beyond headlines and soundbites! You create a two-part report and you release the primo, the most important story on its own! You follow up with the second half of the document and discuss the rest of it–the Eucharistic, Reconciliatory and Sacramental stuff–next week or the next week, or the week after! Stupido! Where did you study communications? You don’t make it easy to be attacked! You don’t hand the culture fodder for a thousand cheap jokes and unending distortion! You don’t take norms addressing and correcting the biggest, most egregious failure of the church, and allow the world to portray you as wholly equating it with women becoming non-Catholic priests while drifting down the river on boats! Trying to counter the narratives that develop from boneheaded decisions like this–trying to explain the fullness of the norms or the degrees of seriousness addressed here–against the tide of negative publicity and cynical assumptions is like spitting into the wind! FAIL, Curia! This is a FAIL! EPIC fail!”
Can you hear my hand slapping the polished surfaces of their desks in angry frustration? Every italic, another slam.
I just may. I just MAY to go Rome and do exactly this. Loud, loud pounding. Yelling in Italian. Stupido! STUPIDO!
Watch this space, for details!
And read John Allen