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Posts Tagged ‘Pope Francis’

Atlanta Archbishop has Catholics Rethinking Vow of Poverty

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Because that reeks of a humble rectory, right?

If you belong to a Catholic Church, you may know the three vows clerics take when entering the ministry – chastity, conformity, and poverty. Be the life cenobitic (in a monastery) or eremitic (as a hermit), anyone in the clergy is to take on a vow to personify and illustrate the life of Christ.

In terms of the media and PR, this hasn’t been the case for clerics with horrendous stories of altar boys and stuff. Conformity is also something that has been in debate, all the way up to the Pontiff discussing the rights of marriage in the clergy and among the congregation. And now, poverty has taken center stage thanks to Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta.

How? He owns a $2.2 million home and now, he’s being “asked” to sell it.  Read more

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Pope Francis Won’t Bless Noah but Did Have Some ‘Crowe’ for Dinner

Pope Francis is a positive mojo machine. In fact, we consider him the patron saint of PR. Because of his overwhelming humility to be tangible and his undeniable ability to be liked, everyone wants a piece of Il Papa’s garment and a little of that Jesus blessing on them.

Including Russell Crowe. No, really. He even tweeted the Pontiff:

Cagey. Effective. Almost begging. Did it work? Yes … and no.

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Pope Francis: ‘The Internet Is a Gift from God.’

pope-francis-internetThat sound you heard was St. Peter’s Basilica asking, “Has he ever heard of the Internet?” 

The Pope is no stranger to making friends. Our fearless leader has been enjoying “Pope Francis: The PR Guy” series since the puff of white smoke went sailing into the March sky of Vatican City making Jorge Mario Bergoglio into the man, the myth, the legend.

Il Papa has not only made himself a friend to the common man, but also the digital one with his handle @Pontifex, which now has more than 3.5 million followers. So, an acolyte of his would think he’s savvy about the Web. And then, he says that?! 

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The 10 Biggest PR Winners of 2013

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Toast of the town

Yesterday we gave your our list of 2013′s biggest losers, so now it’s time to go positive (in keeping with #4 on this list) with the biggest winners of the past twelve months.

Through some combination of skill, good fortune and great public relations, these ten had a pretty good 2013.

Here’s to the promise of a new year; be sure to let us know who we left out.

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Why TIME Was Right to Name Pope Francis ‘Person of the Year’

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The man loves his public…

Don’t know about you guys, but we totally saw this coming.

Journalists are already busy criticizing TIME‘s decision to name Pope Francis its 2013 “Person of the Year” over NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Did TIME play it somewhat safe with this choice? Sure. But we also think they got it right. For context, the mag’s readers chose Miley as POY, so think about that for a quick second before you forget it forever.

Why did Pontifex get the nod? Here’s an explanation from managing editor Nancy Gibbs and deputy managing editor Radhika Jones:

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Meet The Pope’s PR ‘Guru’

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That Pope Francis is really something. He’s been a bouncer, a spy, a researcher, a damage control specialist and a living, breathing public relations case study who has so far been incredibly successful at improving his organization’s standing with the general public.

But what about the people behind him?

We missed the Vice and Daily Mail profiles of Vatican “marketing mastermind” Greg Burke last month, but the story is every bit as relevant and fascinating today.

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Pope Francis Used to Be a Bouncer, But Now He’s Just a Spy

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The spy who loved me and you and every other one of God’s creatures

Whoa, calm down! We didn’t mean “spy” like Daniel Craig or Felicity or the undercover Russian who doubles as a model in her spare time.

Following yesterday’s big reveal about Pope Francis once working as a bouncer at an Argentinian club, we learned that he’s been donning the robes of a regular priest and sneaking out of the Vatican at night to check on Rome’s homeless population, pray for them and hand out donations without revealing his identity. Given that he’s one of the most famous men on earth, we didn’t really think this would work—but then we thought about his audience and reconsidered.

Today’s addition to the growing “how badass can this guy be” canon comes courtesy of uCatholic and an interview with an Archbishop responsible for distributing money from the Holy See to the “poor and marginalized.”

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Pope Francis Understands the Value of Research

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We were almost over the fact that Pope Francis is totally on top of this whole “public relations” thing, but now he’s done it again.

This weekend we read that the modest man in the big house has commissioned a far-reaching survey designed to gauge “consumer sentiment” among the world’s one billion Catholics on some of the church’s most contentious social issues: homosexuality, gay marriage, unwed cohabitation, etc.

The reason this is so interesting is that many will tell you that church doctrine is both clear and unchangeable when it comes to the definition of the word “family.”

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Catholic Church Plans to Turn ‘Bishop Bling’ Mansion Into Soup Kitchen

germany_bishop_limburg_184368475_620x350Last week we spent a couple of hours counting the ways in which Pope Francis is a PR genius, but now he seems to have outdone himself—or at least inspired Catholic Church officials in Limburg, Germany to follow his example.

Francis made headlines last week for temporarily suspending Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, aka “The Bishop of Bling”, for embarrassing the Church worldwide by spending a reported $26 million to renovate his official residence. We’re not sure who thought it would be a good idea for bishops to live in mansions, especially those with $20,000 bathtubs, but now the Limburg organization wants to go a step further by forcing the Bishop out of his fancy house and turning it into a soup kitchen/homeless shelter.

There’s no official word on these plans yet, but a spokesperson for advocacy organization Caritas Internationalis (which is itself part of the Church) has apparently discussed the matter, saying:

“The residence is like an inherited sin which the bishop has left in his wake. People who seek sanctuary with us could be given food in the residence.”

Speaking as “typically ill-informed” members of the mainstream media, we see this as another step in the right direction. Also: the house looks cool but we think he may have overpaid a bit on that renovation—and the red just screams “please audit me!”

(Photo of protesters via Getty)

10 Reasons Why Pope Francis Is the Patron Saint of PR

Hate to break it to you, Saint Bernardino of Siena, but Pope Francis is the real patron saint of communications (if not “compulsive gambling” and “respiratory problems”).

Why, you ask? He’s only been Pope for a few months, and he’s already well into the project he’s prepared for his whole life: rebranding the Catholic Church for the 21st century.

The guy is, quite simply, a PR genius. Let’s review 10 reasons why.

1. He named himself after St. Francis of Assisi

He’s the first Pope Francis, and St. Francis was basically the original hippie. Raised rich, he chose to become a beggar, eschew all earthly possessions and live a solitary life communing with nature and straight up talking to animals like a scruffy Dr. Doolittle. You can’t get any more humble or anti-materialist than this dude.

What we’re saying is that the name alone sends a very strong message.

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2. He auctioned off his Harley Davidson for charity

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