At the time of writing, a new pope has yet to be announced. There's still black smoke emanating from the Vatican, while the 115 cardinals at the conclave deliberate over who will be leading the estimated 1.2 billion Catholics at a significant time in the faith's history.
No matter who it is - whether he hails from Europe, South America or Africa - the new pope will be inheriting massive crises. These problems predate the historic resignation of Benedict XVI and will probably be around long after another new pope is elected. This gloomy prediction will be the likely outcome if the church doesn't act quickly and decisively to address its priorities.
Even as a major institution with vast wealth and significant global influence, the Church's reputation has been severely (possibly even irreparably) damaged after news that senior clergy ignored, covered up or actively participated in the sexual abuse of children. This has definitely split the church between the establishment and disenfranchised current and former members.
The new pope must write in red ink on day one of his appointment: "must get to grips with this scandal."
No other issue - even important ones like gender equality or financial corruption - comes close in terms of urgency.
No longer can any religious institution (or any organisation for that matter) rely on moral authority to instinctively reject claims of impropriety by its members. Threatening legal action as a blunt instrument to prevent legitimate claims of injustices, rather than investigating has been proven time and time again to be a rash and counterproductive strategy.
Written constitutions, statements of intent and press releases are (and should be regarded as ) separate from behaviour. The roots of the church's problems lie in practices and not policy.
Given the nature of its 'business', the church and religious leaders should lead by example and walk the talk in every aspect of their lives and in their communication and actions towards others - especially the vulnerable and the faithful.
With a concerted effect to expose and aid the prosecution of abusive clergy, along with transparency, an acknowledgement of wrongdoing, public apologies and appropriate compensation to victims, the Catholic church's reputation could eventually be 'rehabilitated'.
But it will take time.
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.