Shutterstock.com
The nation\'s Catholic bishops are warming to the idea of hiring a spokesperson and having a stronger social media presence.

The Catholic Church has been in the news a lot for cracking down on American nuns, its legal battle over Obamacare and the ongoing sex abuse scandals.

On Thursday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops debated whether they should hire a spokesperson to get their message out quickly and clearly.

It's a serious problem, said Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, head of the bishops’ communications committee.

“We cannot afford to allow critically precious hours or days to slip by without speaking out,” Wester told about 200 of his fellow bishops.

A public relations campaign is still in the early stages but tentative plans include appointing a high-profile, always-on-call spokesperson and creating a more active presence on Twitter and Facebook.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB and the hierarchy’s best PR man, likes the ideas. But, Religion News Service pointed out that based on his past comments about effective PR campaigns, he wouldn't be a leading candidate for the job.

At a conference in March about the promoting the hierarchy’s agenda, Dolan said that hiring an “attractive, articulate, intelligent” laywoman as the USCCB's anti-abortion advocate was “the best thing we ever did.”

“In the public square, I hate to tell you, the days of fat, balding Irish bishops are over,” Dolan said.