Thursday, April 07, 2005

John Paul II's PR genius

John Paul II clearly had a talent for media management; but the unprecedented amount of publicity around his death and upcoming funeral presents a radical departure for the Catholic Church. The Guardian takes a look at the Vatican's media strategy for the 21st century:

'John Ryley, the Sky News executive editor, said: "You had the pictures of his body being carried through the streets. That was quite medieval - a fusion of 21st century technology and the medieval. That was a coming of age for the Vatican and the Catholic church, to have live pictures of a dead Pope being carried through the streets and broadcast around the world.

"That's probably never been shown before. That will have a huge impact on the way the Catholic church and the papacy is viewed - though I'm not sure if it will be good or bad," said Ryley.

And the Guardian's Bates added: "Life has changed a lot in the last 30 years, but in the old days a Pope was never ill, he was well one day and dead the next. The Vatican even said one of them was off hiking when in fact he'd died. Most of John Paul's predecessors were locked in the Vatican and never looked out.'
- The Guardian

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