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The SSPX “Tradicals,” whose anti-Semitic concoctions have landed their would-be new best friend, Pope Benedict XVI, in hot water, have apparently begun scrubbing the web of their worst musings. One article, “The Mystery of the Jews,” which I posted about earlier, has been taken down from their U.S. site. The article was all-too representive of the ideas they embrace, and which the Pope was too quick to overlook when he lifted the excommunications on their four bishop-leaders.
But while the SSPX is dropping stuff down the memory hole as fast as they can, the Vatican is still blaming a poor communications system for the fiasco. Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told a French Catholic newspaper, La Croix, on Thursday that the Vatican had–and has–no media strategy. Reuters has the story:
“We didn’t control the communications,” said Lombardi, whose office originally announced the pope’s decision in a simple statement accompanied by the Vatican legal document that readmitted the four back into the Roman Catholic Church.
“I think we still have to create a communications culture inside the Curia, where each dicastery (ministry) communicates by itself, not necessarily thinking of going through the press room or issuing an explanatory note when the issue is complex.”
Lombardi said modern communications made it difficult for the Vatican to issue some statements.
“Certain documents are meant for specialist of canon law, others for theologians, others for all Catholics or all people,” he said. “But today, whatever the type of document, it all ends up directly in the public sphere. It gets difficult to manage.”
The announcement on lifting the excommunications was negotiated “up to the last minute,” the spokesman said, and some points remained a bit confusing.
“The communique accompanying it left too much in doubt, giving rise to different interpretations,” he said.
There is certainly a problem with the Vatican’s media and communications strategy, as noted here. But there is also much to be critiqued in the message that is trying to be communicated, and the why’s and wherefore’s of it.
Fr. Jim Martin at “In All Things” had these stories first.