US Bishops appoint intelligent, articulate, attractive media relations officer

The May 1 appointment of Kim Daniels as the first lay media relations officer for the president of the US Catholic Bishops signals the beginning of a new phase in media relations for the US Catholic Bishops.

The appointment, which has surprised some, was foreshadowed last year by US Bishops’ President, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, when he commented that “in the public square… the days of fat, balding Irish bishops are over”.

Daniels, a former Sarah Palin advisor is a lawyer who worked as counsel for the Thomas More Law Center handling religious freedom issues, specialises in conscience-rights issues.

She is also a director of Catholic Voices USA, a group formed to improve the visibility of faithful Catholics in the mass media.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, Daniels and her husband have six school-age children.

Daniels’ appointment brings a new dynamic to the US Bishops’ public activities.

Cardinal Dolan last year said “the best thing we ever did” was hiring an “attractive, articulate, intelligent” laywoman to make the church’s case on abortion, adding, “In the public square, I hate to tell you – the days of fat, balding Irish bishops are over.”

Daniels’ position as spokeswoman for the president of the US Catholic Bishops Conference does not replace that held by Sr Mary Ann Walsh, who continues to head the public-relations office for the Conference.

Cardinal Dolan’s position as president of the USCCB ends in November of this year.


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