Pope sacks leadership of worldwide Catholic charity, names commissioner
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Tuesday fired the entire leadership of the Roman Catholic Church's worldwide charity arm following accusations of bullying and humiliation of employees, and appointed a commissioner to run it.
The surprise move involved the executives of Caritas Internationalis (CI), a Vatican-based confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social services organisations working in more 200 countries.
The sackings of the executive level of CI, which has more than a million staff and volunteers around the world, were announced in a papal decree released by the Vatican press office.
A separate statement from the Vatican's development department, which oversees CI, said a review of the workplace environment this year by external management and psychological experts found malaise and bad management practices at its headquarters.
Current and former staffers told Reuters of cases of verbal abuse, favouritism, and general human resources mismanagement that had led some staff to leave. CI is based in a Vatican-owned building in Rome.
"No evidence emerged of financial mismanagement or sexual impropriety, but other important themes and areas for urgent attention emerged from the panel's work," the statement from the development office said.
"Real deficiencies were noted in management and procedures, seriously prejudicing team spirit and staff morale," it said.
It said that while "financial matters have been well-handled and fundraising goals regularly achieved", management norms and procedures had to be improved.
A CI spokesperson referred all questions to the statement.
Among those affected by the decree was Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who was nominally president of Caritas but was not involved in the day-to-day operations. His main job at the Vatican is head of the Church's missionary arm.
The president's position is traditionally held by a cardinal.
Tagle, a Filipino who is often considered a possible future pope, will step down as president but remain in a new role to help the commissioner keep up relations with national Caritas offices and prepare for election of a new leadership next year.
Two current Caritas insiders and one former staffer, all of whom spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, said the decree was aimed at the management practices by the office of the outgoing secretary general and the board.
The former staffer said employees had left jobs at the headquarters because of a climate of bullying, fear and "ritual humiliation".
Apart from Tagle and one priest, all members of the CI executive were lay people.
(This story has been corrected to say that departures were in Rome, not outside Italy in paragraph 14)
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Nick Macfie and Bill Berkrot)
- Pope’s trip to Africa spotlights conflict and church’s future
- Seven people killed in ‘terror attack’ shooting at synagogue in Jerusalem
- Protests against burning of Koran held across Middle East
- ‘Church part of the problem’ in discrimination against Gypsy and Roma community
- Priest who 'died and went to hell' claims he heard 'demons singing pop songs'
- Messianic leader who mesmerised followers by staring at them charged with sex crimes
- How an anti-Semitic ‘fake news’ conspiracy drove mass murder in Franco’s Spain
- First Palestinian woman pastor in Holy Land ordained
- Church of England ‘to refuse to back change to allow same-sex marriages’
- Emanuela Orlandi vanished 40 years ago. Why is the Vatican just now opening an investigation?
- Euston gunman fired into church after funeral of cancer victim, 20, and her mother
- Church of England told to 'sort its own house out' before paying slavery reparations
- Late Cardinal Pell unmasked as secret Vatican blogger on ‘catastrophic’ Pope Francis
- Pope Francis could be ousted in 'secret plan' by Vatican hardliners
- Pope warns Vatican staff an 'elegant demon' lurks among them
- When is Epiphany 2023? The date, meaning of Twelfth Night and traditions behind the feast day explained
- Putin orders ceasefire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas - Kremlin
- Archbishop of Canterbury condemns desecration of Christian graves in Jerusalem cemetery
- Pope Benedict to be entombed in triple coffin made of cypress, zinc and oak
- Anti-abortion priest who backed Donald Trump is defrocked by Vatican
- Let There Be Light
- Plants that feel and Speak
- The Singing Forest
- The Singing Forest-2
- Using Essential Oils for Spiritual Connection
- Heaven Scent
- Plants that Feel and Speak-2
- Making the Spiritual Connection
- The Sanctity of Plants
- The Aroma Of Worship - Introduction
- Essential Oils: The unseen Energies
- The Aroma Of Worship-Foreward
- Methods Of Use
- Handling and Storage
- Spiritual Blending