Transparency Culture & Ecclesial Responsibility: Reflections on Institutional Communications

Cristian Mendoza, Carl Beekman


We aim to provide a theoretical framework for enhancing the Catholic Church’s culture of transparency. We therefore define concepts of culture and transparency, stressing some of the institutional consequences due to their interaction. Finally, we apply these principles to the ecclesial institution’s fields that are attractive for the public square: the administration of temporal goods, the use of information and the dispensation of sacraments and religious teachings. Defining culture as the setting up of behavioral standards, we realize that the ones regarding transparency have been constantly raised in the last years by society, while the Church has remained stable in its long-term organizational principles. Applying a culture of transparency for the Church would therefore require to understand the dynamic of cultural change within the Church that is essentially united to the preservation of its own spiritual purposes. Also builds within itself a culture that sustains a culture of accountability.  Ecclesial institutions as any institution, builds and sustains trust through its diligent and consistent refusal to abuse the power given. The ecclesiastical institution would change its standards of transparency when it is needed to keep up with its original mission not when it is just an exigency of its cultural environment.

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