Why the Vatican needs to hire a marketing professional

You ask for feedback regarding the Vatican’s handling of updates to its procedures for clerical sex abuse cases and ordination of women priests (“Capitulation or playing the game: Vatican and the media,” Aug. 1). 

Without doubt, the Vatican provided another stunning example of how not to put out a substantive policy paper regarding important issues. I taught marketing for more than 30 years at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. In my opinion, the Vatican desperately needs to have on its staff a professional marketing adviser. 

When dealing with extremely important and controversial topics, whether to customers or to the general public, the rule is that the more important the issue, the more substantive the justification should be for implementing that policy. 

Public relations most often involves an organization’s communications to the public, but, more importantly, it also involves helping the organization understand the perceptions of the public about the organization, before any public statements are made. 

— Richard Slovacek, Naperville, Ill.

OSV is naive 

Your Sept. 5 editorial, “The Mosque,” was deeply concerning. It compared apples and cactus fruit, and nothing good will come out of your reasoning. 

I would dare to say that your knowledge of Islam is limited, and all you see is another of the world’s great religions, unconcerned about what is taught. 

For a Catholic, like I presume you are, you need to defend only Catholicism, because first your knowledge of the others would be limited, and I am certain you would not wish to help spread some falsehood, just because of your principle to defend all religions, in the name of the freedom of religions (again, not taught by Christ). 

Christianity is a religion of love, while Islam is spread by the sword, as demonstrated by its original spread through the whole Middle East, by force.  

— Anthony Manoli, via e-mail

Cross and crescent 

I am writing in response to your editorial titled “The mosque.” 

Because U.S. Catholics have experienced nearly two centuries of anti-Catholicism, perhaps we should invite our Muslim brothers and sisters to build their mosques and their Islamic community centers next to our Catholic churches and Catholic schools. 

This would really take religious tolerance to a whole new level. 

— JoAnn Fuir, Lewisburg, W.Va.

Low-cut dress 

Your Aug. 29 In Focus, “Making a gift of self,” was missing one thing: modesty. 

The picture of the single girl in a very low-cut dress is not what we have tried to teach to our children. For a Catholic paper to have a picture like that is telling all of our young girls that it is all right to dress in such a manner. In the article’s treatment of marriage, there is a comment about how a husband is required not to treat his wife as an object of lust, but here you have a picture that could cause any young boy or man to lust. 

— Clara Hollmann, Loretto, Tenn.

Bashful Catholics 

Re Msgr. Owen F. Campion’s Sept. 5 column on John F. Kennedy’s Houston speech: The observation that “some politicians who identify themselves as Catholic use the speech to validate their own practice of supporting public policies at odds with Catholic teaching” is a bit of an understatement. 

It has become popular among so-called Catholic politicians to embrace contraception, abortion and euthanasia as matters of “personal choice.” 

They sometimes murmur that they are “personally opposed” to these things, but nevertheless insist they do not wish to impose their moral views on others. Of course, we never hear this talk when discussing racism, pollution or income tax evasion. 

Unfortunately, the impact of JFK’s speech was not limited to the empowerment of modern liberal politicians. Today there seems to be an epidemic of purportedly Catholic believers, in government, education and even the Church itself, who become downright bashful when it comes to professing their faith in a public forum. 

It is time for Catholics to stand up for their beliefs. We must boldly proclaim that our way is the right way. Why must we be different from anyone else? 

— Nicholas Bentivegna, Ebensburg, Pa.

Titanic afloat 

Thank you for the editorial “Marital decline” (Aug. 29). You articulated well many of my own fears and concerns. You stated, “Our society, including many of its Catholic members, has lost an appreciation, both in understanding and practice, for what marriage is really all about,” and “contraception has rendered the vast majority of American heterosexual marriages just as sterile as homosexual couplings.” 

Both these statements are true. It now appears that it is primarily the Catholic Church (and OSV’s editorial board) that is urging Americans to “rediscover the challenges and beauty of self-sacrificing, lifelong love between a man and a woman, and its fundamental importance to the raising of loving, balanced children.” I have copied and shared your editorial with all my children. Thank you for helping to keep the Titanic from sinking. 

— Deacon James Powers, via e-mail