The following is a message from the Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, an organization of laity, religious, and clergy working together to promote best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications, and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S., including greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity. The Leadership Roundtable brings together leaders from the worlds of business, finance, academia, philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, and the Church, to serve the Catholic Church.
The long-awaited Vatican report on former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick reinforces that there is an urgent need for a new culture of accountable, transparent, and co-responsible leadership at every level in the Catholic Church.
Leadership Roundtable believes it was essential for this investigation and report to be commissioned and commends those who helped the truth come out, especially the survivors of abuse who shared their powerful stories with investigators.
“In addition to the detailed accounts of McCarrick’s abuse, the report makes clear that the Vatican’s own investigations, or lack thereof, into the reports of misconduct and abuse by McCarrick and the decision-making of leaders in the face of those reports were deeply flawed and lacked rigor,” said Michael Brough, partner of Leadership Roundtable.
Kim Smolik, partner of Leadership Roundtable, stated, “The Church must learn from these leadership failures and institute comprehensive reform of its governance structures and selection and review of bishops. It must also implement oversight that includes laity and ordained acting co-responsibly for decision-making as we move forward.”
As we continue to review the report and assess its implications, Leadership Roundtable believes it is critical that Catholic leaders use this moment to commit to governance and leadership reforms so that the clericalism and institutional corruption that allowed McCarrick and others to abuse and rise in power do not continue to go unchecked.
“Leadership Roundtable works with leaders of integrity to respond to abuses of minors, vulnerable adults, power, and finances, and to bring about more accountable, transparent, just, co-responsible, and competent leadership in our Church,” Kerry Alys Robinson, partner of Leadership Roundtable, said.
We were initiated by a convening of clergy, religious, and laity in the wake of the 2002 abuse crisis to promote best practices and accountability in Church management and leadership in the Catholic Church in the United States. We continue to work today as a partner to the Church, providing services, programs and convening summits to change the culture of the Church to one of accountability, transparency and co-responsibility. We offer our support and partnership to all Church leaders to resolve these crises and build a healthy, thriving Church.