“Catholics call the Pope and Bishops to reform the Church with a new culture of leadership that is transparent, accountable, and co-responsible”

A Statement from Leadership Roundtable on the Vatican Abuse Meeting

“The world’s bishops need to make it clear that they will not only address the abuse crisis, but will look at the leadership failures, as well,” notes Kim Smolik, Leadership Roundtable CEO. “For too long Church leaders have only addressed the symptoms, but they need to look at the root causes.”

Pope Francis identified ‘clericalism’ as one of the root causes of the crises in his Letter to the People of God (August 2018). He wrote: “To say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to all forms of clericalism.”

Leadership Roundtable was founded in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis of 2002 to address some of the long-term, underlying causes of the crises related to leadership and management. It recently convened the Catholic Partnership Summit, February 1–2, 2019 in Washington, DC. Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal O’Malley, and Fr. Hans Zollner participated in the Summit which modeled clergy-laity collaboration, identified best practices, and created actionable recommendations for Church leaders nationwide to address the current crises. These three leaders received a preliminary report, together with Cardinal DiNardo, to inform their preparations for the Vatican meeting this week. A final report with actionable recommendations from the Summit will be released later this month. 

Leadership Roundtable is looking for the Vatican meeting to call for regional task forces capable of addressing the twin crises, swiftly and comprehensively.

“Catholics call the Pope and bishops to transform the Church with a new culture of leadership that is transparent, accountable, and co-responsible,” says Smolik. “It is up to each of us―clergy and laity, women and men, bishops and abuse survivors―to work together to prevent abuse by instituting a new culture of leadership.”


This press report was originally published by Leadership Roundtable on February 19, 2019.

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