Papal spokeman to be replaced?

There is talk that the papal spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, may be replaced soon.

Fr. Lombardi is not only papal spokesman, but also head of Vatican Radio.  I believe he also has a job in the Jesuit curia.

No matter what… change of spokesman or not… something has to change.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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18 Responses to Papal spokeman to be replaced?

  1. Fr. Gary V. says:

    That means that the Jesuit will lose another influential clergy in the Vatican?

  2. Graham says:

    Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ has to go!!

    The Holy See needs to employ a mega communications firm to sort out the recent disasters we have heard and ready about!

  3. TNCath says:

    Yes, I’d say when you start to equivocate and temporize the Holy Father’s words, it’s time for you to go.

  4. Athanasius says:

    He’s not the only one either. The whole group of JPII appointees have to go. They are the main resistance to the reforms of Pope Benedict. They are unhappy that they can no longer direct the course of the pontificate. The Holy Father ought to replace them with people who understand that the world hates the Church, and to be as wise as doves and as prudent as serpents.

  5. Irenaeus says:

    “Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ has to go!”

    I agree, and greeted the news(?) this morning with enthusiasm. However, let’s remember Fr. Lombardi is a human being, loved by God, who, I’m sure, if he’s human at all, feels like the floor of a taxicab right about now, knowing darnwell what a mess the last few months have been.

    That said, hopefully the last few months will have proven to be a wake-up call and move the Vatican to adopt an effective communications strategy.

  6. Sean Cleary says:

    I guess I’m no longer a “young” traditional Catholic — I turn 29 in April… but I do consider myself a Catholic out of that younger generation or post Vatican II kids. I remember going to Mass with my grandmother in Brooklyn, and she would tell me about what the communion rail used to be for, and I couldn’t imagine it…

    My wife and I are struggling towards tradition. Not for any other reason than it has sustained us through the loss of one of our children. Our traditions gave us strength. Our traditions were there for us.

    When the condom story broke, it was hard for us, it really was. That’s always been one of those “tough issues”… but this time, thanks to the Catholic blogs I’m now hooked into, I was able to read about the other side of the story, and my wife and I were able to see the world, again, for what it really is. The condom bit is just another example of how poorly informed people are. Up until a week ago, so was I.

    I really believe that the Vatican should push back. Don’t be ashamed of these ideas…. the world is attacking us, we have to gracefully resist. There is strength in these ideas. personal strength. Sex is not everything, no matter what we’re told. It doesn’t all come back to sex. It shouldn’t…. It’s harder for my generation… the music, the movies, the TV shows… they get in there and re-wire you…. but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight it. We need leaders in the Vatican who will help us young people who have seen the light. We really need these leaders now. These are the hard times or us.

    I love this pope, I really do. He’s done a lot for me and for my little family.

  7. don Jeffry says:

    I nominate one Fr. Zuhlsdorf to be his replacement. His knowledge of the faith, of the Vatican and of those who serve there make him immanently qualified to do the job. His fidelity to the entire tradition of Holy Mother Church is evident.

    Yours seriously,
    don Jeffry

  8. Colin says:

    I don’t mind Fr Z replacing Fr. Lombardi as Fr Z still keeps his blog going !

    Colin

  9. TNCath says:

    Whoever they do replace Father Lombardi with might consider having a couple of folks in his office who are completely dedicated to finding out what is going on via the Internet so that the Holy Father can be properly informed as to what is going on. This communication thing is a two way street: not only does the Pope need a spokesman to public, he also needs a man who can tell him what is going on out there beyond the walls of the Vatican.

  10. Kardinal says:

    @Athanasius

    RE – “He’s not the only one either. The whole group of JPII appointees have to go. They are the main resistance to the reforms of Pope Benedict. They are unhappy that they can no longer direct the course of the pontificate. The Holy Father ought to replace them with people who understand that the world hates the Church, and to be as wise as doves and as prudent as serpents.”

    Why do you believe this? Do you have evidence that this is the case?

  11. Rivendell says:

    The Vatican desperately needs some good, savvy, experienced people who knows how the world and its media operates and are 100% solidly behind the Holy Father. The Pope has been left hanging out to dry allowing the secular media to savage him too many times recently and it is not right for the leader of the Catholic Church to have a second rate communications department unable or unwilling to do the job required in getting the Pope’s message out to the world 24/7 using all the technological tools available. Pope Benedict deserves better than what he has now, he cannot be expected to spend his precious time sitting in front of his computer internet searching before he make any announcements. There are so many faithful, talented Catholics out there who can serve in a top news operation working solely to make sure the Holy Father’s words are reported and translated accurately and quickly via all the news outlets. The Vatican needs to make this a high priority task and they need to do this sooner rather than later, for the sake of the entire Church.

  12. Sue Murphy says:

    It’s hard to see how the Vatican’s ineptitude with public relations can be one guy’s fault. Maybe Fr Lombardi is one of several who need to be replaced; or maybe he just needs to move on for other reasons than we out here in the English-speaking world know about. So pray for Fr Lombardi – like Irenaeus says, he’s probably had a rough couple months.

    It’s true that the Vatican needs to learn how to get the right message out there. Anticipate the media spin and short-circuit it. On the other hand, I don’t want to see the Vatican taking the approach of the USCCB – hiring a new PR firm as first reaction when the ‘bishops- covering-up – felonies-against-children’ scandal broke in 2002. The Vatican is already seen as insufficiently transparent – why add ‘too smooth with PR?’ That will just make it worse. The Church does have enemies – some in the media, some with blogs, some at Notre Dame… They need to do better, but they don’t need appear to stonewall or evade. Can’t just turn around and blame the media for acting according to their own nature, either.

    Sean Cleary – love your post. It gives me hope – I’ve talked to too many Catholics who just accept the media’s account of who this Pope is, or what the Church is, or their women’s studies or comparative religion professor’s account of why the Church is misogynistic or homophobic or ‘increasingly irrelevant’ or whatever the rose-fertilizer of the week is. My generation (turning 40 this year) weren’t taught the faith very well in school, by and large – although I got some better instruction from my Dad breaking out the Baltimore catechism, and some independent reading, my peers whose parents didn’t care as much, themselves don’t care at all. And then, parental concern aside, the culture has pretty much pulled my siblings away from the Rock and swept them out to sea. I’m praying for them, but I hope they can find something that helps them see what they’ve left.

  13. Mike says:

    Fr. Lombardi is being scapegoated in my opinion. The people at fault are higher up the Vatican chain of command.

  14. Kardinal says:

    I find it distressing how a bunch of poeple who have no information about how the Vatican Press Office works are opning about whose fault it is and who should or should not be fired to address the recent difficulties in that office. Without actualy information, it is impossible to make an informed decision about what should or should not be done here.

  15. Joseph Fromm says:

    I am of the opinion that Fr. Federico has a deep respect and admiration for the Holy Father. I also feel that the Holy Father has had a long relationship with Fr. Federico and trusts him in his role as Vatican Press Sec., however Fr. Federico maybe better suited in another role in service to the Church, there is nothing wrong that.

  16. Mike: It is quite possible that is, too, is being scapegoated.

    But imagine how hard it is to keep all those plates spinning.

  17. Manrique Zabala de Arízona says:

    I agree with Rivendell: experience in dealing with the media, specially in a context where you’re sure most of them will be after you requires of a smart shark. Fr.Lombardi is far from that profile.

    Bring back Black and bring back Navarro-Valls, or someone he recommends ;)

  18. Michael J says:

    Kardinal,

    I have no problems with the Vatican Press Office’s recent failures to gauge public reaction an opinion. It was an undesirable PR blunder, that will hopefully be corrected but is not the reason I applaud Fr. Lombardi’s removal. It is not, as you put it, about a way to “address the recent difficulties in that office”.

    Instead, as another poster pointed out, it is about the equivocation and temporization of the the Holy Father’s words. Whether Fr. Lombardi did this because he does not share the Holy Father’s vision for the Church or because he was trying to “spin” a pblic relations problem it in my mind irreleveant. The fact that he would publicly minimize or contradict the Holy Father is sufficient for him to be removed from his office.