News & Notable / 2020 Educational Forums

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From time to time, we come across articles of interest to our membership that bear reprinting here, after which they will be permanently available in our Documents and Other Resources section.

  • Leadership Roundtable calls for new financial standards for the Church

The July 17 issue of NCR details a new report, "We Are the Body of Christ" by Leadership Roundtable that recommends establishing national standards for financial management for dioceses across the United States, along with an annual, publicly shared audit of financial policies and practices. It also calls for the church to invest in more training and support for young adults interested in ministry.

The proposal is modeled after the "Dallas Charter," which was implemented by the U.S. bishops in 2002 and established national protocols for child protection and would be codified in the church's canon law. The Leadership Roundtable is an organization devoted to promoting best management practices in the church.

The Vatican reiterated July 20 that Catholic parishes should normally be led by priests, stressing to bishops across the world that arrangements for religious sisters or lay people to head local parish communities can only be made when there is a shortage of ordained ministers. (Congr. for Clergy, as reported by Joshua McElwee for NCR.)

Joshua J. McElwee is NCR's Vatican correspondent and international news editor. He is a journalist who has been widely recognized for his in-depth reporting and penetrating analysis on the leadership of the global Catholic Church.

McElwee's dispatches from Rome and during papal trips abroad are frequently cited by his peers, and broadly seen as a touchstone for nuanced Vatican and papal coverage. He often appears as an expert on television and radio programs such as National Public Radio's Morning Edition, BBC's World Service, and PRI's The World.

Among McElwee's most noted work has been his years-long, tenacious coverage of Pope Francis' clergy abuse commission, which through a series of exclusive interviews with ex-members of the group revealed serious shortcomings to its work.

McElwee was also the first journalist to break the news of Pope Francis' promise during a meeting with an international group of sisters and nuns in 2016 to create a commission to study the history of the ordination of women as deacons in the Catholic Church.

McElwee's reporting on the scene from the closed-door encounter, which sparked a global media frenzy, is sometimes credited with ensuring that Francis went forward with the creation of the Vatican's eventual Study Commission on the Women's Diaconate. McElwee previously served as NCR's national correspondent, based in Washington, DC.

McElwee is the co-editor, alongside Cindy Wooden, of "A Pope Francis Lexicon", a collection of 54 essays exploring the unique words Pope Francis has used in his ministry.

A graduate of The Catholic University of America, McElwee has reported for NCR from 38 countries and traveled in the press pool abroad with Pope Francis 23 times. He and his wife Kate serve on the pastoral council of Rome's Caravita community.

Archdiocese of Detroit Projected Priest Shortages
2020–2030




Our Next Educational Forum


Image: Thomas Reese sjDue to the Covid-19 Pandemic our next 2020 Educational Forum will be delayed until the late summer or early Fall of 2020. We expect to have Father Thomas Reese, s.j., former editor-in-chief of America Magazine speaking on "Clericalism". Watch this spot for updates as the current situation clarifies.


Thursday, February 20, 2020
Sister Simone Campbell, sss:
The State of the Union—An Alternative Vision



Transcript Now Available



Image: Simone Campbell