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How to Handle the Pope’s PR

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With the Pope’s trip to Britain on the horizon, the Guardian takes a look at Benedict XVI’s press team and what it’s up against when it comes to pushing out a certain kind of message and image.

The article offers up the PR “disasters” Benedict XVI has already faced, from the Regensburg address in 2006 to his decision to pardon Richard Williamson. The man the article says is “not a natural communicator” allegedly has too many cooks in the kitchen.

“Statements are disjointed, as if several contributors have been involved and then it has all been hacked together by the Vatican press officer, Father Federico Lombardi,” the article suggests.

It offers the confusion in contrast to Pope John Paul II’s press situation, which was overseen by press secretary Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who was said to have the message well in hand.

All said, it purports that the Pope’s visit, set for Sept. 16-19, should thus be an interesting time as far as the issues, and the team, are concerned.

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