From the Catholic Herald:
A pair of photographs released by the Vatican – one in particular – caused quite a stir on Thursday. The offending image showed members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Executive Committee sharing a jocular moment during a meeting with Pope Francis. That in itself is nothing too terribly newsworthy. But the meeting was to discuss the ongoing crisis in the US Church, precipitated by the spectacular fall from grace of one of the hierarchy’s best-known and most influential members: the disgraced former Archbishop of Washington, DC, Theodore Edgar “Uncle Ted” McCarrick. Given that context, people asked how such an image could have been chosen to convey the spirit of the bishops’ response to the crisis.
Officials at the Press Office had not responded to queries from the Catholic Herald as of press time, and responsible figures in the Dicastery for Communication declined to comment on the incident. However, there does appear to have been discussion of the images within the Vatican communications apparatus and an attempt to keep them from being used. Some Vatican staff only saw the photo once it had been released, and were dismayed. “[We] knew it would horrify people and embarrass the Holy Father and the US bishops,” said one source, who spoke with the Catholic Herald on condition of anonymity. “It’s our job to help get out the message of the Holy Father, and that photograph compromised the message the Holy Father is trying to convey.” By then, however, it was too late.
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