Thursday, October 23, 2014
FORGOING BISHOP'S MANSIONS, GOOD OR BAD?
I know for a fact that in the poorer black Christian denominations of the south, the members of particular congregations want their pastor to live well. He will normally have a very nice house, compared to them, drive a very nice car(s) and have nice jewelry to wear. Perhaps the members of these denominations live vicariously through their pastors and see an upward mobility in them not only in this life but the life to come.
Catholic bishops around the world were accorded a similar sort of status in terms of their "regalness" and where they lived. The pope too, in terms of the Apostolic Palace, now a museum of sorts as Pope Francis lives in the Vatican Motel 6.
Now the new Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich has decided not to live in the Archbishop's mansion which has 14 fire places and is down right huge, but paid for I presume. I presume too others live there. So it is like an apartment, I suspect, for clergy and domestic help.
Bishop Raymond Lessard when he was the Bishop of Savannah chose not to live in a home in a regular neighborhood as his predecessors did. He moved into the Cathedral rectory. He had a large living room and bedroom/bath and a small chapel for the Blessed Sacrament and private Mass. He lived humbly. He was named Bishop in 1973 and retired in 1995. I lived with him in the Cathedral rectory for six years and with three other priests.
So what do you think? Should bishops live in cathedral rectories rather than separate residences or mansions?