Fixing an Institution

Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

How strong is your faith?  How far would you go for your beliefs?  Would you do something for your congregation to live up to its ideals?  Early this year, we heard of echoes on the grandest scandal in modern day Christianity – the Vatileaks.

Well, for any kind of organization, the higher the position of those involved, the more sensitive the issues become.  After all, they are expected to be the bearers of the Vision themselves.

In this case, it started with the “wrongful acquisition” of confidential documents by the Pope’s ex-butler Paolo Gabriele; who then passed on many of those materials to Italian author Gianluigi Nuzzi, who used them to come up with a book called “His Holiness:  The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI” which then created a stir among faithfuls and led to the investigation and conviction of Gabriele as well as the sentencing of Claudio Sciarpelleti, the computer technician who aided Gabriele.

Now, first, although the ex-butler acted out of “moral responsibility” – this is still an invasion of privacy and theft for which he could have first discussed the issues with the Pope.

Next, this is not just a religious matter but a Leadership issue.  Look at the findings in those documents? Corruption.  Internal conflict.  Mismanagement.

Of all entities, the Vatican is expected to “uphold righteousness” yet it’s failing – which is actually no surprise to those who understands the ins and outs of organizations.  See, the greater the organization, in this case, 1.3 billion global members bringing in truckloads in tithes and offerings – the greater the need for better management.

  • Culture starts from the Top – Pope Benedict XVI.  Yes, being the Pope he should be understanding and forgiving but he should also take note that we are still on earth – people are still being sifted even from the inside – remember Judas?  Hence, the Pope should draw lines.  Focus on the Vision.  Be more firm with regulations, and organized in handing responsibilities and resources.
  • Corruption can be eliminated if not minimized if there is transparency.  We’re even in the “tablet age”, so information is easy and fast to push – thus, overall projects and money matters should not be confined to the Vatican alone but shared with all cardinals and bishops around the world.
  • Internal Conflict.  When this exists, generally, there is a power struggle, there is an issue of acceptance.  The Pope should initiate an in-depth review as to how successors are chosen.  The process should not be structured nor discriminating but open, at least, according to every cardinal’s service, contribution, faith, and potential.  And one more, they may be ageing but they should have more appropriate brotherly activities not just meetings.
  • Mismanagement.  This issue stems from incompetency.  The entity may be religious in nature but Leadership exists wherever there is an organization, whenever man is tested.  To improve management, assign duties (with consideration to their age and health) to those who already has the background or knowledge in areas of need.  Substitute the cardinals and bishops’ training with regular briefings.  This way you upgrade their skills while monitoring their activities and progress.

The Pope has to meet these issues head-on before “any doubt” starts to mount over the relevance of the Roman Catholic Church.

What’s your take?


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