Archive for media skills

The Papal Conclave: my vote goes to Cardinal Collins of Toronto

Posted in PR with tags , , , , on March 13, 2013 by Tom Leatherbarrow

Cardinals Attend Final General Congregation

I got in last night just in time to see black smoke coming out of a chimney on the Sistine Chapel, signifying that the great and the good of the Catholic Church had failed to reach agreement.

It’s a tough choice, not least because it’s a tough job.  The next Pope apparently has to be God’s representative on Earth; an outstanding theologian; chief executive of a global organisation and be armed with the patience of a saint, which, apparently, he has every chance of becoming one day.

But I can’t help wonder whether the new Pope also needs better PR skills than his predecessors?

On Channel 4 News last night, Jonathan Rugman door-stepped Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto coming out of his hotel in Rome, cassock in hand, making his way to a taxi to take him to the conclave.

“How long do you think this is going to take?” asked Rugman.  “Well, in 1200 it took three years, they had to take the roof off wherever they were [to get the Cardinals to make a decision],” Cardinal Collins replied.  “I’d hate to do that to the Sistine Chapel; you’d wreck a lot of good art.”

Cardinal Collins made me laugh and it’s a long time since anybody in a cassock did that (not intentionally anyway!).

I turned to my wife and said.  “I’d vote for him, he seems like a nice bloke.  He’s personable, approachable, humble and can laugh at the world.  Catholicism needs somebody like that.”

As he opened the door of his own taxi, Cardinal Collins waved happily and delivered a blokish farewell to Rugman and his camera crew, “See ya guys.”

Alas Cardinal Collins is not one of the bookies’ favourites.  Apparently, the front runner is Cardinal Odilo Scherrer, a conservative with strict views on everything from contraception to what you should eat for breakfast.

He doesn’t sound like much fun does he?