Pope Francis – experienced manager set for reform

March 27, 2013

Pope Francis leads the weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 27, 2013. Holy Week is celebrated in many Christian traditions during the week before Easter. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Francis of Assisi began his saintly career following what he said was God’s command: “Rebuild my Church.” The new pope who took his name heard the same message from the cardinals who elected him.

The 13th-century Francis toured the Italian countryside repairing dilapidated chapels before realising his mission was to change the whole Roman Catholic Church.

At 76, Pope Francis does not have as much time to get to work.

What the first Jesuit pope has is management experience in his native Argentina as head of the Jesuit province and chairman of the national bishops conference. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he dealt with everything from poverty to national politics.

“He’s been at the top of the organisation, but he’s not been tamed by that,” says Rev James Hanvey, a Jesuit theologian. “In management speak, he’s held to the core values. He wants us all to refocus on the core values.”

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