Watching the first interview Cardinal Donald Wuerl recently gave to a TV news outlet made me think of a lot of things — a shepherd standing before his flock, staff in hand, being brave, honest and bold, not among them. You see, in my day job, I work as a communications professional. Part of my job is crisis management. Everything about his demeanor and what he said — and what he didn’t say — tells me Cardinal Wuerl had been well-coached by other professionals of my ilk, and it made me sad.
It also made me wonder — what would St. Peter have sounded like if he had been interviewed on Holy Saturday morning if he had first consulted with communication professionals?
REPORTER: So, is it Simon or Peter?
PETER: Whatever you’re comfortable with.
REPORTER: Is it true you denied Jesus of Nazareth three times yesterday afternoon?
PETER: I’m so glad you asked that question. You see, this has been a very regrettable and painful time for me. To see how the Sanhedrin didn’t seem to have an open heart in a more fully defined process yesterday was particularly disappointing.
REPORTER: What would you say to the woman who accused you of being a disciple of Jesus yesterday?
PETER: I can only say I feel her pain and want only what is best for her as she continues her own journey of discovery.
REPORTER: So, you did not deny Jesus three times?
PETER: I’m not about “keeping score” with things like this, regardless of how much personal pain this whole situation has caused me. I think it’s important we stay focused on what we can do in the future to ensure we have the right protocols in place so that we can have a full and open discussion about all manner of things that may cause others pain or discomfort.
REPORTER: What would you say to the people who are now suggesting that out of Jesus’ 12 hand-picked apostles, one of them denied him, one of them betrayed him and all the others ran away from him?
PETER: That all depends on what the meaning of “betray” means. And currently my brother apostles are in seclusion in various parts of the city. I can assure you they are as distressed over this current situation as I am, and I have all the confidence in the world that we will gather together in an undisclosed location sometime soon, and we’ll be issuing a press release shortly on how we feel about the unfortunate exercise in Roman civics that took place up on Golgotha yesterday afternoon.
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