4 crisis PR tips for the Vatican

In the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the author, who did PR for Pope John Paul II, prescribes several solutions for the Catholic Church’s image problems.

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“Continue to pray for me, for the Church and for the future pope,” the 85-year-old Pope Benedict said before his weekly general audience, according to Reuters.

Benedict’s resignation shocked the world, including Vatican officials, who aren’t even sure how to proceed, reports Reuters. They have scheduled an enclave for mid-March to replace Benedict.

I served on the media advance team for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Los Angeles and did PR for the world’s largest collection of Vatican art and historical objects.

I’ve learned a lot about popes. I love them. So it’s fascinating to speculate about the Benedict’s resignation. Is PR crisis management under way at the Vatican? It makes sense. After all, the Roman Catholic Church has dealt with a number of crises in the past years: protected child abusers, insulted nuns, claims that condoms cause AIDS. blaming scandals on the press, and so on.

Can the Vatican do more than a resignation to bring the crisis to a faster close? Yes, Here are four more actions to move the compass further in the right direction.

1. Elect a pope with pizzazz. This one was stilted and lacked people skills—no matter how much he tweeted.

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