New Catholic Voices head eager to help share Church's message

Scot Landry CNA US Catholic News 8 30 13 Scot Landry.

The new head of a Catholic communications training group says he hopes to help the faithful present the complex truths of the Gospel in understandable ways amid a sometimes hostile modern world.

"I'm very excited to begin my work at Catholic Voices USA," said Scot Landry, new executive director of the organization.

"Catholic Voices offers communication tools and approaches that allow lay people to confidently share Catholic teaching on hot-button issues in a concise and compassionate manner," he told CNA on Sept. 24.

"Given the speed of communications today and the shorter articles and attention spans common in new media, these tools for communicating a few key points about a topic can help readers and listeners grasp our main messages." 

"There are many issues today that Catholics want to speak out about in a persuasive manner, such as the growing threats to religious liberty, care for immigrants and all the vulnerable, and many others," Landry explained. "These issues are complex, yet the Catholic Voices approach can help present the main messages in a way that others can understand our respect our point of view." 

Modeled after its British counterpart, Catholic Voices USA trains lay people to present Catholicism in a positive way, countering misrepresentations and making the case for the Catholic Church in the public square, through debates, media interviews and informal discussions with friends.

Before coming to Catholic Voices, Landry was the president of iCatholic Media and secretary for media at the Archdiocese of Boston. Prior to his work with the archdiocese, the Harvard graduate worked in marketing, brand management, consulting and executive positions at companies including Procter and Gamble, Parthenon Consulting, and Eze Castle Software.

He explained that participants in the Catholic Voices USA program love their faith and want to share it accurately with people, while discussing it with those who disagree or are misinformed.

Landry said that the organization's 10 principles of civil communications on contentious issues have been well-received and have already helped him in sharing his faith more effectively.

"I hope that I can share these methods with other Catholics who are willing to accept this sacred responsibility of proposing our faith's way of life to those around us," he said.

Kathryn Jean Lopez, director at Catholic Voices USA, called Landry's experience in communications and management a "game-changer" for the organization.

"Scot's leadership promises to grow CVUSA to meet evangelical needs throughout the country," she commented, adding that this is "an exciting time for Catholic Voices USA."

Landry has been praised by Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who said that "Scot exemplifies the dedicated Catholic layman, husband, and father."

"His incredible energy and fine intellect have been a great gift and we know that he will continue to make an impact in the Church," the cardinal added in his Aug. 30 blog post.

"There is so much polarization in the country, and we need a way of being able to witness to our faith in such a way that it can be heard by secular society," Cardinal O'Malley explained. "I believe that Catholic Voices has developed a paradigm to do that. This is a great contribution to the life of the Church and I know Scot will make huge strides there."

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