On Aug. 8, President Linda LeMura participated in a day-long meeting in New York City meant to explore recovery and reform within the U.S. Catholic Church from the twin crises of abuse and leadership failures.
The meeting, sponsored by the Leadership Roundtable, brought together 11 Catholic college presidents, including the presidents of Georgetown, Villanova, Boston College, Notre Dame and Santa Clara, and special guests Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, and Father Dennis Holtschneider, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Attendees were asked to provide a brief synopsis of one action undertaken by their institution to support recovery or reform. The conversation centered on the role of higher education in promoting and enacting solutions to the crises. In setting the stage for the event, organizers from the Leadership Roundtable stated "Despite new policies at the national and diocesan level since 2002, the root causes of the crises have not been addressed and the culture of leadership that gave rise to the crises continues. Catholic colleges and universities have risen to the occasion and helped the Church address the crises in multiple ways over the last 17 years. We know that colleges and universities will continue to play an important role. Moreover, these efforts united in a collaborative response could have a transformative and wide-reaching impact."
One example of work already underway was a May 2019 seminar on discernment and leadership that took place at the Jesuit Curia
; this effort is being led in part by David McCallum S.J., vice president for mission integration and development, in collaboration with Georgetown University. The second seminar of this initiative will take place in October.
Based in Washington, D.C., Leadership Roundtable is an organization of laity, religious, and clergy working together to promote best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications, and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S. including greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity.