Action Alert!

Far too late

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 04, 2009

 On January 26, the Holy Father lifted the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops.  On February 4, the Vatican issued an explanatory statement. A few simple observations:

  • You don't have to be a public-relations genius to realize that the explanation should have come alongside the announcement-- not nearly two weeks later.
  • There is absolutely no reason why the same statement could not have been released on January 26. This tardy release is a classic display of PR bungling. 
  • The February 4 statement indicates that the Pope was unaware of Bishop Williamson's outrageous views on the Holocaust. That shows more bad staff work; the bishop's views were well known to those who had followed SSPX affairs carefully. 
  • The international controversy, the angry denunciations of the Pope, the embarrassment of the Church-- all of it could have been prevented by minimally competent staff work.
  • Heads should roll. 



Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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