Like The Baldwin Locomotive Company?

The Roman Catholic Church finds itself in the clutches of a series of potentially fatal management crisis.  Across Europe church attendance continues to decline and Catholic churches in the US are seeing a similar trend.  One could question why but strictly from a business perspective, declining attendance means less and less money for the church and its support of Rome.

If the Roman Catholic Church were a public business, investors would want to see, right now, the “turn around” plan.  Rome’s actions this past week, however, dispels any notions that Rome understands the magnitude of its problems or how to deal with them in the 21st century.

This evidence came out when the US Catholic Church’s Bishops met in Baltimore for the purpose of agreeing upon a common response to allegations of sexual harassment and abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy.  After years of cover ups and misdirection statements, US catholic Bishops were set to issue some new rules.  But wait, Rome step in and ordered the Bishops to issue no statements and make no agreements pending a meeting next February in Rome where a global representation of Bishops could meet.  Hmmm, do you detect a sense of urgency?

The US Bishops were debating new guidelines about how to involve civil authorities, how to act transparently about accusations being made, and how to stop “recycling” clergy who were accused of abusing others, especially children.  What should be so hard about that?

Some senior members of the Catholic Church blame the child abuse cases upon the sizable percent of gay priests.  For these conservative church leaders, “get rid of the gays” and the problems of pedophilia disappears too.  If life were that simple.

The Catholic Church has several problems, to be sure.  Declining attendance suggests the church is not meeting the needs of modern society at a minimum.  Along with declining attendance, there is an even larger decline in those who want to become priests.  In times of shortages, who is going to ask about sexual orientation? 

Relevance, that is the role the church undertakes with its followers, is the missing subject, and that is not going to be found by next February, if it is not known now. 

The wide spread disgrace of clergy grooming and then seducing young boys and girls, and subsequently the hierarchy covering up church members’ complaints teaches the parishioners in clear and unambiguous words, this man’s catholic church is not about administering to its followers, it is about the followers looking the other way while still sending money to Rome.

The church is quick to drag out all the old superstitions.  You know, like being prepared for life in the next world rather than cleaning up the act in this world.

The Baldwin Locomotive Company was famous for making great and powerful steam locomotives.  In the late 1940’s, Baldwin rolled out their largest and greatest steam locomotive yet.  Within a few years Baldwin was finished as a company.  The reason, Baldwin was in the steam locomotive business while the rest of the world was looking for efficient and speedy transportation.  First came diesel locomotives, then jet airplanes, and new, limited access roads where automobiles shined.

What business does the Catholic Church leaders think they are in?

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