Friday, January 30, 2009

A Communications Disaster

John Allen, columnist for the independent Catholic newspaper, The National Catholic Reporter, has an interesting take on the disastrous aftermath of the resolving of the excommunication issue.

The column was posted today (January 30, 2009) under the title, "The Lefebvrite case: What was the Vatican thinking?" Here are some of John Allen's quotes:

"I want to put all this on the record, because I don't want to be accused of over-simplification or partisanship when I submit the following: The way this decision was communicated was a colossal blunder, and one that's frankly difficult to either understand or excuse.

To be clear, my point has nothing to do with whether the excommunications should have been lifted in the first place. There's legitimate debate on that front, and not just due to its implications for Catholic/Jewish relations. There's also intra-Catholic discussion about what it means for the interpretation of Vatican II, and for the broader direction of the church. Instead, my argument is that even granting that the aim of restoring unity in the church justifies this step, its presentation was stunningly inept."

and again...

"Further, it's not as if the Vatican can claim to have been surprised by Jewish reaction. In September 2006, Benedict set off a similar firestorm in the Muslim world with his lecture at Regensburg, in which he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor to the effect that Muhammad had "brought things only evil and inhuman." Regensburg should have brought home the lesson that when the pope does something likely to cause alarm in another religious community, you have to see the train wreck coming in order to avert it."

You can read the rest of the article and what Allen's communication strategy would have been by going here.

1 comment:

Stu said...

It would have hardly mattered how this was done. The heterodox among the Church do not like the fact that the Barque of Saint Peter has been righted through the efforts of JPII and BXVI. Accordingly, those forces are aligned against the truth and will stir up controversy no matter how it is done.