LOS ANGELES: Faced with a rising tide of bad press, poor public opinion, and mounting legal challenges, the Catholic Arch-diocese of LA - the largest in the country - has hired crisis PR specialists Sitrick %26 Company.
Currently, more than 30 former and active priests associated with the archdiocese are under scrutiny. The head of the organization, Cardinal Roger Mahony, also faced a media attack for originally appearing to impede investigators.
Michael Sitrick said one of his goals is to publicize new guidelines recently developed by the archdiocese to prevent future misconduct. "We can't do a thing about what was, said Sitrick. "Only what is and what will be."
Sitrick said he will also focus on helping maintain the image of the "hundreds or thousands of priests that are dedicated and have not done anything wrong."
The PR firm was hired by the diocese's law firm, Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman. Partner J. Michael Hennigan said, "We chose a PR firm in light of the media blitz the archdiocese was under. We were concerned that we weren't getting treated fairly by the press - that they were confusing the church's past activities with the present situation."