By Kevin Birnbaum
The “mainstream media” is out to get the Catholic Church.
This seems to have become a common sentiment among many Catholics in recent years, as the church has gone through round after round of bad press.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue recently accused The New York Times of trying to “manipulate public opinion against the Catholic Church.” A well-known Catholic apologist referred on his blog to “The New York Times and like-minded organs of modern-day antipathy toward the Catholic Church.” One popular priest blogger bluntly calls The Times “Hell’s Bible.”
A different perspective
For loyal Catholics, the temptation to blame the media for the church’s bad press can certainly be attractive — and many a poorly researched, apparently biased article makes it seem reasonable.
But a different perspective emerged at a recent weeklong seminar for journalists in Rome entitled The Church Up Close. Speakers included cardinals, Vatican officials and prominent Catholic journalists, and a recurring theme was the frank admission that the church is pretty bad at communicating, especially in the age of the Internet and 24-hour news.
During one session Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the high-profile director of the Holy See Press Office, candidly told attendees, “We have to grow in the direction of transparency and communication.”
Friday, October 1, 2010
Who's to blame for Church's 'communication problem'
One of my colleagues at the "Church Up Close" seminar in Rome, sponsored in part by OSV, has written a thought-provoking commentary on the Church's "communication problem," its tendency -- at times -- to appear tone deaf to the world around it. His column in The Catholic Northwest Progress is worth a read. Share your reaction in the comment section. I'll get you started:
Posted by Mary DeTurris Poust at 7:18 AM