This post is by Jim Horton from Online Public Relations Thoughts
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In PR, we tell companies to speak out in a crisis and to be transparent, but sometimes silence might be better as events unfold because there is little one can say credibly. This might be the tactic the pope is following in the face of allegations that he tolerated sexual abuse by one of his cardinals. If so, it isn't working. Even his allies in the Church are urging him to talk. So far, he has not done so. While it might be Christian to remain silent in the face of calumny, the pope is carrying the credibility of the church in his person. As the leader of Roman Catholics, he has a duty to represent the faith in the best light possible. There may be no good stance to take if the allegations against him are true. Should he resign or weather accusations and try to do the best he can? There is no good answer. Conservatives in the church want him gone and have for some time. The charges against him were brought by a high-ranking conservative bishop who is avowedly the pope's enemy. Perhaps the pope has chosen to ignore the source because the bishop is a partisan. Even so, abuse victims are waiting for him to address their pain.