The move comes less than a week after the church revealed 52 allegations of child abuse were made against members of its clergy last year.
McLoughlin, founder of Precise Communications, will take up his post as director of its Catholic Communications Service in mid-September. He will be charged with formulating a new comms strategy for the church. This could include making recommendations to hire an external PR agency, although the church claimed it was too early to comment on whether this was probable.
Reporting to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales general secretary Andrew Summerskill, McLoughlin will head the church’s internal and external comms, as well its public affairs division.
One of the biggest PR challenges facing him will be opposing any plan to phase out state funding for denominational schools, following the Government’s decision to review this issue in Scotland.
The Catholic Church is also lobbying the Government to change its abortion legislation. The move follows the recent publication of images showing a foetus ‘walking’ in the womb at 12 weeks and the Government’s decision to review the 24-week limit on legal abortions earlier this month.