Pope Francis has appointed a management consultant him to advise him on reforming the Church, a leading Vatican observer has reported.
According to Sandro Magister, the Pope “welcomed enthusiastically” the idea of bringing in Thomas von Mitschke-Collande to assist him in streamlining the Roman Curia.
He said the proposal was made by Fr Hans Langerdörfer SJ, secretary of the German bishops’ conference, and supported by Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, one of the group of eight cardinals advising the Pope.
Dr von Mitschke-Collande was the manager of the Munich branch of the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Last year he published a hard-hitting book in Germany called Schafft sich die katholische Kirche ab?, which can be translated as “Does the Catholic Church want to destroy itself?” or “Is the Catholic Church going out of business?”
Mr Magister said that Dr von Mitschke-Collande helped the Archdiocese of Berlin “get its accounts back in order, and the German episcopal conference asked him to draw up a plan to save on costs and personnel”.
In an interview last year Dr von Mitschke-Collande said the Church in Europe needed to take drastic steps to arrest its decline.
He said: “The Church has no demand problem, but rather a supply problem. It reaches fewer people today, just as they are, with all their hopes and needs. Actually, the Church should be booming. More than ever, people are looking for spirituality, community, and a direction.”