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Pope Francis: No Patience for Corruption

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 28, 2013 8:13 AM |

What defines a real leader?

In my opinion, a real leader is one who can inspire while uninhibitedly doing the right things. In other words, “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”

Who might we put in the category of real leaders in our nation today? Regrettably, I think the list is very, very short. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of those individuals who would rise to the level of what I would deem real leadership. Maybe my bar is too high . . . or maybe not. 

One individual who strikes me as displaying real leadership in very short order is the newly inducted head of the Catholic church, Pope Francis.

Are you wondering why I might broach this topic this morning? I am not here to address various and sundry positions within the church that serve as topics for strong debate. I am here to talk about character and walking the walk.

The church is clearly a very powerful institution. Unfortunately, not unlike much of what we have seen in Washington and elsewhere, the church has also displayed little transparency and often less integrity on a host of fronts. In doing so, it has paid a very steep price both monetarily and in terms of its following. That is understandable, but for those of faith, that reality is also unacceptable.  It is against this backdrop that many people of faith around the world have such high hopes for Pope Francis. In short order, he is not disappointing.

Pope Francis has displayed a commendable degree of humility in dispensing with many of the trappings that go along with his position. Living in a simple flat in the Vatican strikes me as an indication that Pope Francis possesses the inner strength and, dare I say, toughness to eradicate the corruptible elements that found an all too willing home within the church.

We see evidence of this in recently breaking news from the Vatican:

Pope Francis took a key step Wednesday toward reforming the troubled Vatican bank, naming a commission of inquiry to look into its activities amid a new money-laundering probe and continued questions about the very nature of the secretive financial institution.

It was the second time in as many weeks that Francis has intervened to get information out of the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR. On June 15, he filled a key vacancy in the bank’s governing structure, tapping a trusted prelate to be his eyes inside the bank.

Additionally, just within the past few hours, we witness further aggressive moves stemming from Pope Francis’ efforts:

A senior Italian cleric has been arrested in connection with an inquiry into the Vatican bank scandal over allegations of corruption and fraud.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano works in the Vatican’s financial administration. A secret service agent and a financial broker have also been arrested.

I write on this topic today not simply because I am pleased to see a leader with integrity walking the walk, but because I believe our new Pope can and hopefully will be a model and even a beacon for leadership everywhere. As recently reported:

Francis, who has made clear he has no patience for corruption and wants a “poor” church, has already named a separate commission of cardinals to advise him on the broader question of reforming the Vatican bureaucracy as a whole.

Think we could use more leaders with the character, integrity, and humility of Pope Francis in Washington, on Wall Street, and elsewhere around America and the world?

I do.

Navigate accordingly.

Larry Doyle

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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