mercoledì 5 settembre 2018

The crisis in the Catholic Church is also an opportunity. Sexual abuse scandal is a chance to address leadership and management failures  
The Financial Times
(Geoffrey Boisi)   The Catholic Church faces a twofold crisis: sexual abuse and a breakdown of confidence in its leadership. Focusing solely on the former is folly. Both must be dealt with head on. In the US, and beyond, the Church is at a tipping point in its relationship with the laity. Many are beyond restless and impatient for tangible reforms.
The moral catastrophe of the sexual abuse scandal was reinforced when a grand jury report found that more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania had been abused by more than 300 priests. Equally disturbing was the exposure of transgressions by the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, and accusations of a cover-up. But these are only the most recent events in a deepening crisis of trust.
Both laity and clergy are questioning the integrity and competence of certain members of the Church hierarchy, whose failures in leadership and management have damaged the Catholic voice of moral authority in the public sphere and the morale of the Catholic community. More than one generation of young people have been driven from the pews. However, it is important to note that this is not a crisis of faith but a basic question of accountability and leadership. Therein lies the opportunity.
The Church can address its leadership and management failures. Numerous experts and organisations are ready to help. Leadership Roundtable, for example, was founded by lay, religious, and ordained leaders in the wake of the 2002 sexual abuse crisis. We believe that what the Church needs is effective leadership and management practices.
Catholic leaders must create a new culture of healthy management that is transparent, accountable, competent, and grounded in justice, in order to restore trust and safeguard the essential mission and future of the Church. The problems have been decades in the making. Solving them will take thoughtful, creative, long-term reform, supported by Rome, the cardinals, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, pastors, clergy and lay people.
It begins, but does not end, with protecting children and vulnerable adults and providing justice to those who have been harmed. But beyond that, we need a clear-eyed, honest recognition that there is a fundamental problem in the system: clericalism. The pope has called for purging the “spirit of clericalism”, which leads to hypocritical behaviour, while Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has called for “practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past”.
Any solution must create a governance structure that has proper transparency, checks and balances, and credible oversight. It means introducing up-to-date training and human resource development for lay and clerical leaders, including setting goals and performance benchmarks for the long, mid and short term, and identifying practical implementation plans.
Management models drawn from the secular world should be properly adapted to ecclesiology and canon law, and training should be provided in seminary education and longer-term programmes for lay ecclesial ministers, diocesan staff, deacons, priests, pastors and bishops. Most importantly, the right person should be put in the right place at the right time.
Rebuilding trust must be based on authentic and measurable change in the new leadership and management culture at the parish, diocesan, and national Catholic organisational level. Independent lay experts should be included in investigations, review boards, and other leadership and management positions.
This is a critical time for all of us to stand together to live up to our respective ecclesial responsibility and to act. Change of this magnitude will be hard — but hard does not mean impossible.
The writer is the founding chairman of Leadership Roundtable. Lieutenant General James Dubik, former chairman of the group, contributed, in conjunction with fellow members Elizabeth McCaul, Kerry Robinson and Kimberley Smolik.
The Wall Street Journal