What the Pope can learn from Toyota

Why I admire Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) is because of his unwavering commitment to conservative christian principles, unlike his predecessor Pope John Paul II who was quite the liberal. Despite his tough and righteous stance on many issues, Pope Benedict XVI finds himself facing the anger of his flock. The reason's clerical abuses, one of which is now being tied back to a decision taken by the Pope when he was cardinal.

Is this scandal going to go away? No. Is the world citizenry outraged at what's happened? Yes.

What must the Pope do?

Exactly what the likes of Toyota did. When Toyota identified a problem with its cars, it went in for a recall. The Pope too should now systematically though his office identify errant priests and without mercy defrock them, and also leave them to the civil courts for trial and punishment. In addition to recalling cars, President Akido Toyoda of Toyota Motor Co. made a public apology and swore that his company would do everything to win consumer confidence back. Again, that's exactly what the Pope must do. Offer a public apology and swear commitment to true christian principles, which are about service and sacrifice.

Now how should brands come to a decision on such explicit public displays? The answer lies in how much damage negative publicity has done. Both Toyota and the Catholic Church have been at the receiving end of terrible publicity. The fall-outs have affected consumers and the faithful. The only way to restore confidence of stakeholders in either of these institutions is by first admitting there's a problem, then doing something about it, and finally stating a commitment to the who's most important, of course, consumers and the faithful.

For the Church's sake, I hope the Pope does what Toyota did.


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