A Web 2.0 world is watching as scandal rocks the Catholic Church, all the way to the Holy See
Writing about the Vatican, the pope and religion—today or at any time—without mention of politics or moral judgment is a hard call. Hard because religion, morality and politics are inherently intertwined, whether we like it that way or even realize it. And that is why discussions about these topics are polarizing, divisive and downright destructive in so many ways.
So this article isn’t going to take on those issues prima facie but instead will look at the Vatican and its current PR crisis—perhaps the most damaging, but really just the latest in a long series of PR crises.
The differences between the PR crisis arising from the sex-abuse scandal and previous scandals—think indulgences, celibacy, and female laity—are twofold. First, it is taking place in an information-dominated era, in which previously effective mitigation tactics such as stifling inquiry and withholding pertinent data are impossible. Second, the current crisis has trust (or the breaking thereof) at its very center, which makes any sort of response inherently suspect.
Same story, different era