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National Leadership Roundtable

on Church Management


March 2013

Leadership Roundtable offers insight in run up to papal conclave
The Leadership Roundtable offered prayers for Pope Francis.

When news broke that Cardinals had selected Pope Francis as the next leader of the Catholic Church, the Leadership Roundtable joined with fellow Catholics in welcoming the new Holy Father. "Service, humility, advocacy for the poor, mercy, prayerfulness, simplicity and grace: these are among the immediately evident characteristics of the new leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis," Kerry Robinson, executive director of the Leadership Roundtable, wrote following Pope Francis's election.


In the days leading up to the papal election, the Leadership Roundtable was a go-to source for many of the journalists and media organizations exploring how the next pope might handle the managerial challenges he would inherit. Below are quotes from articles featuring the Leadership Roundtable. 


Click here to read more about these stories, and to see a sampling of the countless articles, op-eds, commentaries, and other posts in which management, governance, and best practices were discussed as key themes of the conclave.


If The Catholic Church Were A Business, How Would You Fix It?

Because each diocese makes most of its own business decisions, "the church is missing out on purchasing power, procurement, economy of scale," says Kerry Robinson, director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.

Pondering a pope and the gender divide


Robinson and her colleagues suggested reviewing what percentage of major leadership roles in the Vatican and its advisory councils are held by women and then focusing on appointing women to more of those positions. They also proposed appointing women to high-visibility jobs in the Vatican diplomatic corps or press operation. Robinson described the meetings as "cordial, warm, and engaging," and said cardinals expressed "genuine interest and desire to respond to this."

Pope will need vision, leadership to turn around church, management experts say 


Michael Brough, director of engagement at the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, a group of Catholic laypeople, priests and bishops who promote best practices in the church, said the new Pope could surround himself with experts to improve the church's financial management.

"If an institution has good financial controls, transparency and accountability, a lot of financial areas can be improved," Brough said.

Wanted by American nuns: A pope who listens to and appreciates female leadership

"For the church to thrive, we must take seriously the role of women and create opportunities to elevate women to positions of meaningful leadership in the church, even in the Roman Curia," says Kerry Robinson, executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. "Pope Benedict XVI's successor would do well to recognize that the church is impoverished when we do not avail ourselves of the full gifts and talents of women."

Management focus of special sessions at Mid-Atlantic Congress 

The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management hosted 18 workshops for participants to learn about best management practices at the Mid-Atlantic Congress for Pastoral Leadership in Baltimore last week, including a special daylong event exclusively for US bishops. The event's host, Baltimore's Archbishop William Lori, approached the Leadership Roundtable to develop and lead these sessions, and the Leadership Roundtable worked directly with bishops to create the day's program, responding personally to their unique managerial challenges.


Most Rev. John Barres, bishop of the Diocese of Allentown, was one of over a dozen bishops to attend the workshop on church management, an opportunity for bishops to collaborate with their peers and senior lay executives about ways to enhance the management structures and processes in their dioceses. Following the opening prayer, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) James Dubik, a Leadership Roundtable trustee, offered insight on leadership lessons he learned from his career in the US Army. Bishops spent most of the day in small groups with lay facilitators exploring topics such as strengthening Catholic schools, collaboration, strategic planning, communications, and finance. READ MORE HERE.

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