The Catholic Church is not a party, it does not have to be concerned how its perceived when giving the truth and offering its mercy.
God bless Bishop Dolan, but it is irksome to hear prelates talk as if we need ‘Better PR’ that is not the way of St. Paul or the early Church, we don’t have to seek to be favored, if you know Christ, you don’t expect to be loved, by the world. It will never happen, I don’t know why they are pushing the narrative that Pope Francis is the first to not get publicly received with scorn when he is a pastor – it’s like all of a sudden they forgot Pope John Paul II had a pretty good image among the public, for a while.
Pope Benedict was the one who was not spared public disdain immediately, and for whatever reason by the grace of God, that was his lot.
This presumption that because Pope Francis is popular in media perception, what does that have to ultimately do with his efficacy? if it is short lived praise with no true conversion? Many Democrats still want him to change Church doctrine on abortion and homosexuality, so I do not know why prelates in the media act as if this is a new spring time, knowing full well, with the Faith, being a member of Christ’s body, no member, is greater than his master. Christ did not come to be praised by men, not to have his image LOVED in those three years. This idea that the conversion depends on the Vicar of Christ’s public image is also farcical, because conversion depends on a one and one basis, who cares if the world perceives us as mean – they might not have been won over anyway with the hardness of hearts.
No, It depends on the man or woman on the street, who is Catholic and how he is perceived in his treatment of his neighbors. Not how if the media says good or bad things about the current pontiff in this year or that year.
How is this not easy to understand???
So all this talk about Improving our Image among the world, is a poor choice of words, and speaks volumes of one’s mentality of what is necessary for evangelization. The bishop has made these media mistakes before, playing into the narrative and he insulted the previous Pontiffs, and rewrote history about Pope John Paul II, who was also the world’s pastor.
They’ll turn on Pope Francis the way many in Jerusalem did on Christ a week after Palm Sunday.
If the Church was perceived as “mean” that is not the fault of Pope Benedict who merely spoke the truth…so why even give that caricature legitimacy as if it’s the fault of previous pontiffs. It’s irritating.
If anything as others mentioned above, they created the alternate more deceptive caricature,
The Christ with no Cross. The Christ who is indifferent to mortal sins.