Bad PR Brings Flak to Vatican
Nancy Brilli in the Vatican promo video; Photo credits: AP
NEW DELHI: In a false note struck again by the church , Vatican issued a video (link at the end) featuring a beautiful girl pontificating about the abject plight of women in society. What is so discordant about this initiative is that the the girl, a miscast from the very start, states a litany of problems a woman faces,while failing herself to seem ingenuous at all.
The video is being ridiculed across the board for its faux-sympathetic tone and for discussing the rather mundane issues faced by the privileged section of women then addressing the real concerns of truly disadvantaged ones who are long bruised by subjugation and discrimination.
"I am sure you have asked yourself many times," the sexy blonde says, "who you are, what you do, what you think about your being a woman, your strength, your difficulties, your body and your spiritual life."
The message in the video which reads like a blog from Marie Claire ,drew intense criticism from women and men alike.
"What are they thinking at the Vatican?" asked Phyllis Zagano of Hofstra University, writing in the National Catholic Reporter.
"Sexy sell has long gone by the boards in developed nations, and is totally unacceptable in Muslim countries," she wrote.
After they got their fingers burnt, Vatican’s Culture Minister, Gianfranco Ravasi took off the English version of the video, admitting that it didn’t go well with people, specially from US and Canada, since its hard to swallow the tripe which the privileged blonde regurgitates in the video.
"These critics said, although I disagree, that when we speak of women, we must start with the abuse to which they are subjected, to focus on all that is negative," he said.
Ravasi ,while acknowledging disconnect, asserted that response in Europe is extremely warm unlike elsewhere.
"It allowed us to understand how we must represent not just the traditional sensibilities of Europe, but also that of other cultures and horizons," he said.
The Vatican had roped in Italian siren Nancy Brilli for a promotional video in December , which was meant as an act to further Church’s attempts to address gender issues.
Its Pontifical Council for Culture is sponsoring the conference on Women's Cultures: Equality and Difference.
One can watch the video