A piece from The Guardian today that caught my eye: journalist Jonathan Jones claims Pope Francis ‘has renovated a damaged brand not in years, but months’.
And how is this miracle being accomplished? Probably by not attempting to ‘renovate a damaged brand’.
In fact, the universal truth lying at the heart of this epiphanic repositioning of Catholicism appears to rest in the final sentence of the article: ‘Do and say what you believe.’
The idea that Pope Francis has ‘renovated the brand’ is a bit of a stretch.
Perhaps he’s simply revisiting the roots of the Christian movement and the source of its inspiration? After all, for those inclined to believe, wasn’t Jesus pretty consistent on the issue of leading by example?
So, while Francis appears to be making strides as far as perception of the Catholic church is concerned, renovation of the brand will require far more fundamental change.
In practice, it simply means applying the core principles of Jesus Christ’s teaching to the day-to-day work of the Catholic Church.
And that’s the tragic irony for the victims of the organised Church’s wilful blindness to abuse in the past: the idea of practicing what generations of clergy have preached has, only now, been acknowledged as critical to institutional Catholicism’s integrity and credibility – and the wellbeing of its flock.