The Vatican is often criticised for paying little or no attention to public relations. It has only one spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, who is also in charge of Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre. Its press office closes in the afternoon, and its staff often do not speak very good English.
However, many believe that a slick, modern PR office, obsessed with branding and being “on message”, would undermine the teaching of the Church. It would risk being insincere, concerned only with the next day’s headlines, and end up distorting the Church’s mission.
So, does the Church need to devote more energy to public relations? Should it be more PR-conscious?