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American experts rap Vatican's public-relations approach

November 16, 2010

Two leading American Vatican-watchers offered frank criticism of Vatican public relations and management policies, at a November 15 forum in Washington.

"The Vatican communications debacle has to end," said author George Weigel. He went on to say that the question of how to remove incompetent bishops from their diocesan leadership posts is “the single biggest management problem in the Church today.” John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter struck a similar note in his discussion of the sex-abuse crisis, noting the unwillinginess of Church leaders to criticize their peers. He said:

If you want to say Benedict is the reformer, you have to explain the opposition he faced in the Vatican, what he did to overcome other officials and what those others did wrong. They have no way in their culture, no vocabulary, for saying anything critical about each other.

The Monday discussion took place at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where Weigel is a senior fellow.


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