Thursday, May 09, 2002

We're Talking About A BRAND New Church

There's a piece today in the Boston Globe about how KPMG and E&Y are scooping up all the Andersen people and offices (at fire sale prices, I'm expect). I'm sure adopting the new KPMG religion as your own after being a lost-at-sea Andersenite won't be all that tough. Check it out.

In the same Boston Globe, we learn that Cardinal Law just can't remember anything. This may offend some folks, but honestly, like Andersen, the Catholic church is over. Cardinal Law has forgotten his congregation, it's time for the congregation to forget Cardinal Law. Now we need to watch who can give them a new BRAND while retaining their basic identity.

If you were a woman with young children — especially boys — in Catholic school and church, tell me what you'd be thinking about priests right about now. It's May, you're deciding whether to keep your kids in or yank them by September. You're really pissed off. You can't even say how you feel about the Pope you're so mad. The Pope who turned his back on American women long ago, with his medieval views on birth control and now this. You figure he doesn't get it -- especially doesn't get what American Catholics are going through now.

The Episcopalian church, like KPMG stands in an enviable position in history. They are looking at an enormous shift in market share if they do the right thing. They need to move quickly to make it easy for existing Catholic organizations to "re-brand" or "re-affiliate" with them.

1. If you're at a "Saint John's", "Saint Paul's", "Saint Whomever's" the Episcopalians are cool with saints, so the name doesn't have to change.

2. The Episcopalians have enough ritual, mass-like elements, everything that looks pretty Catholic from most everyone's point of view, to make Catholics feel at home.

3. The Episcopalians have married priests (but they should STOP using that word — there must be another they can use, minister, pastor?). They have women priests. They need some good PR to remind people of that.

4. The Episcopalians might think about bringing back a lot of local LATIN masses — this would give them incredible reach into the senior population.

5. They need to connect at the schools. The schools are going to be in a very tough spot. Get the mothers of these Catholic school kids to sign petitions to adopt a re-affiliation plan proposed by the Episcopalians. Make sure every photo op has WOMEN in it, even better, WOMEN priests, WOMEN church officials and Moms, all smiling together.

6. The Episcopalians might start by hiring the guy at KPMG who's running the Andersen absorption program.

[Editor's Note: BTW, I am neither Catholic nor Episcopalian, but belong to the UCC church.}