The Catholic Church’s PR Unit: Greg Crafter (Or: All the World’s a Stage)


Image source: Adelaide Now

Greg Crafter (pictured above) is an appointee to the Catholic Church’s PR unit charged with handling the fall-out from the Royal Commission. As with so many of the other committee members, Mr. Crafter is a prominent member of society. Essentially, the committee is an expression of how powerful the Catholic Church is in Australia seen through the prism of societal rank of the members.

So, Mr. Crafter has all of the usual positions. He is a former Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, South Australian Education Minister and President of the International Baccalaureate Organisation. He is also the current Commissioner of the National Catholic Education Council. All of this would tend to say “Hey, we have yet another education heavyweight on the committee – aren’t we powerful.”

However, people with his qualifications are quite common, if not a dime-a-dozen, these days. Knowledge of education matters is not vital to the work of the committee – given that it is all about damage control for the Catholic Church.

This PR unit has been put together with the input of the best PR minds available to the Vatican. Previous posts have tried to identify individual roles in the overall PR thrust. Mr. Crafter must have a specialist role which is a little less evident than for his fellow committee members. The only role that seems reasonable is that of Devil’s Advocate.

Mr. Crafter has his official CV details indicating a pro-establishment career. However, less publicised details show something of a personality in contrast to his official image.

Mr. Crafter began as an anti-Vietnam war protester. He then went on to be a staffer for former South Australian Premier, Don Dunstan. Mr. Dunstan (“Donny Dunny” as insiders knew him) was widely regarded as a very non-conventional person. Mr. Crafter then took over Mr. Dunstan’s seat of Norwood in the Parliament and is still associated with the Don Dunstan Memorial Trust.

Given the Catholic Church’s position, it is worthy to note that, as Education Minister, Mr. Crafter, in 1992, put up a proposal to introduce condom-vending machines in South Australian government high schools.

All should be fine for the Catholic Church if Mr. Crafter’s views can be restricted to the confines of the committee meetings, or if he has totally rejected his earlier social position. Otherwise – maybe problems!

[Postscript: Is this a new trend? Fr. Kevin Gray was suspended by the Archdiocese of Hartford and can no longer function as a priest in Connecticut or anywhere else in the U.S.  Diocese officials reported him to police over the theft of $1.3 million from his parish, spent on hotel rooms, restaurants, designer clothing, and male escorts.]

Read more:

TOMORROW: The Catholic Church’s PR unit: Dr Marian Sullivan

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)


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