The Los Angeles Times features an op-ed by Politics Professor David Alvarez about the need for Pope Francis to be less of a pastor to the world's Catholics and more of a CEO of the Vatican. While acknowledging that the pontiff's recent trip to Brazil was a "great image-builder for a gentle pastor," Alvarez's L.A. Times commentary, "Pope Francis as CEO," addresses the necessity of Francis to assume the role of a tough-minded Vatican manager.
The Saint Mary's professor points to a variety of troubles facing the Vatican: "In June, Italian police arrested a priest working in the office responsible for overseeing Vatican properties and investments, charging him with conspiring to illegally move about $27 million from Switzerland to Italy. After the priest's arrest, the director and deputy director of the Vatican bank resigned and became objects of criminal investigations by the Italian police." Other crises that he notes are in need of attention by the pope are rumors of money laundering at the Vatican bank, corruption and mismanagement - a senior bank official was recently accused of providing favors to a Swiss army officer with whom he had an inappropriate relationship.
A professor in Saint Mary's Politics Department, Alvarez has published three books and many articles about the modern papacy. His books have been translated into French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Slovakian. His most recent book is "The Pope's Soldiers: A Military History of the Modern Vatican."
The Los Angeles Times is the leading newspaper in the nation's second-largest city and its op-eds are distributed across the country to 500 news outlets.