How Serious Is Governance Crisis in the Pope Francis Leading Catholic Church?
(Newscko) ─ The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) documents read, “Corruption is an insidious plague.” Corruption has a wide range of corrosive impacts on societies.
In Pope Francis’ own words, “Corruption feeds the culture of death.” In a video message named ‘Say NO to Corruption, Pope Francis said “Corruption is at the root of slavery, unemployment, and disregard for nature and the common good.” Pope Francis is correct because lending fraud holds a role in the 2007- 2008 financial Crisis. Indeed, mortgage fraud fueled the financial crisis. Consequently, millions of people lost their jobs and homes. It is truly the poor people who pay for the bills of the corrupt.
Corporate governance relates to the policies and procedures by which an institution is operated, regulated, and controlled. Therefore, corruption signifies bad governance or no governance at all in organizations.
The Institute for the Works of Religion, known as the Vatican Bank, which intended to provide valuable financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide, faces high corruption from the bank’s top leadership.
A Vatican court, in January 2021, convicted Angelo Caloia. According to reports, he is the highest-ranking Vatican official convicted of a financial crime on embezzlement and money laundering charges. Angelo was a former head of the Vatican bank. Angelo Caloia handed down an eight-year, 11-month jail sentence.
This is not the first time Vatican officials came to know for criminal behaviors. In February 2019, CNN’s Daniel Burke (Religion Editor) reported the Vatican faces a growing list of scandals and secrets that involves nearly 200 church leaders worldwide.
Churches exist to strengthen and encourage peoples’ walk with God. However, the Catholic Church’s leadership vision seems not aligned with its mission; that is not aligned with the real reason for having the Church in the first place.
In July 2021, The Wall Street Journal’s Francis X. Rocca wrote that it appears Pope Francis could be leading the Church to a Schism, pointing out that disagreements covering same-sex relationships and women’s roles are intensifying tensions among Catholics worldwide.
Previously a Newscko article examined how does fraud happens and what its relationship is with Governance. Governance literature reveals that governance requires accountability and leadership. Indeed, fighting against fraud is a Governance issue. However, governance is a board-level issue which involves the entire organization, from the top to the bottom.
Indeed, great leadership involves good governance. Does it mean that the Catholic Church leadership lacks good governance? Did the Catholic Church fail to act as the UNCAC documents suggest to fight against the Corruption Plague to protect society from the destructive impacts? Will the Catholic Church, protect women and children from the evil act of its own priests? While extending wishes to the Catholic Church for positively contributing toward human progression, it will be appropriate to say otherwise the impact will be disastrous for the society.
Pope Francis is well respected and he is everyone’s person because of several reasons. However, corporate governance is seen as a structure and relationships that define an organization’s direction and performance. Governance starts from the top leadership. Therefore, as the head of the Catholic Church, Pope should send a signal to his team across the world, warning them that bad governance is the mother of all evils, which has no place in the Church and should make accountable for those leaders who possess criminal behavior.