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He bowed to criticism from local parishioners and said he'd consider selling the new home in Buckhead, Atlanta's toniest neighborhood. In letters, s and meetings, local Catholics told Gregory the price tag was outlandish, especially in light of Francis' frugality. The Tudor-style mansion, stretching nearly 6, square feet, includes two dining rooms and a safe room.
The archbishop said the new pope has "set the bar" for church leaders and others, and Gregory said he hadn't looked at the project's cost in terms of his own "integrity and pastoral credibility. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a Catholic writer. Pope Francis has made clear he expects his priests and bishops to follow his example of sobriety, imploring them to refrain from driving fancy cars or using the latest iPhone.
To emphasize the point, Francis convened the he of all Vatican offices Tuesday to discuss implementing his apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel. In the statement, a blueprint for his papacy, Francis denounces the "idolatry of money," self-indulgence and "insidious worldliness" within the church, and laments how the poor have been excluded from the global economy. Francis has implemented a spending review within the Vatican, enacting a hiring freeze and overtime cut in a bid to reduce waste. But Gregory needed a new home after giving up his residence near the cathedral, where more space was needed for a growing congregation.
The archbishop then decided to build the new residence on land Mitchell had donated. The one-story home already standing on the property, where Mitchell lived, was demolished to make way for the mansion. Gregory moved in three months ago. Gregory initially defended the decision as an accommodation he had made for the sake of the cathedral. But parishioners raised questions, and some met with him to directly voice their concern about the expenditure.
In such meetings, they cited the pope. The scrutiny comes at an especially sensitive time for Gregory, as speculation swirls about whether he could be a potential successor to Chicago Cardinal Francis George, 77, who is expected to retire soon. Gregory, a former auxiliary bishop in Chicago, was president of the U. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the height of the clergy sex abuse crisis, and is credited with persuading Bishop Wilton morn fuck anyone leaders to adopt toughened penalties for abusers. The archbishop's new residence was originally deed with finer perks, according to blueprints filed with the city.
Architectural plans called for an antique chandelier in the foyer, space for a wine room in the lower level and an upper-level panic room protected by steel doors and near a drop-down staircase for a quick escape. Gregory spokeswoman Patricia Chivers said the chandelier and wine room were rejected.
Even before Francis was elected inAmerican bishops had already been selling mansions built by their predecessors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as symbols of the growing power of the Catholic Church. The downsizing, in the Archdioceses of Boston and Philadelphia among others, was considered financially and symbolically important at a time when dioceses were closing aging churches and schools they could no longer afford to maintain, and paying large settlements over clergy sex abuse.
In his apology, Gregory said that if the financial and other internal Church councils advise him to sell the new home, he will begin the process of doing so and move somewhere else.
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Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory apologizes for $ million mansion