Monday, August 4, 2014


CNN has a story on some archbishops' homes. Keep in mind that these homes belong to the various archdioceses and not to the current occupant and many are close to 100 years old if not older.

My rectory in Macon is large but not lavish and currently houses three priests and one seminarian. It also houses most of our offices. It was built by the Jesuits in the late 1930's I think. Each priest, including me, have two small rooms and a private small bath. The seminarian is in our only guest room.

Replacement value would be over a million dollars.

The rectory no more belongs to me than the church next door which would cost around $15 million to replace if not more.

So, why is there this recent preoccupation with Catholic bishops' residences which they do not personally own compared to some of the lavish homes of Protestant ministers who do own their homes. Think Joel Osteen and some African American pastors, not to mention Jewish rabbis!

Here is an excerpt from the CNN expose:

The complete story can be seen HERE.

A CNN investigation found that at least 10 of the 34 active archbishops in the United States live in buildings worth more than $1 million, according to church and government records.* That's not counting hundreds of retired and active Catholic bishops in smaller cities, some of whom live equally large. Among archbishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York leads the pack with this 15,000-square-foot mansion on Madison Avenue, in one of the priciest corridors of Manhattan.


Cameron said...

Who cares? When the serial-lefty St. Suburbia hate-the-pastor-for-not-living-in-a-tenement-yet-drive-$65000-cars types give up their luxuries, then let's talk. Hypocrites. Hypocrites for assuming that priests should live off bologna when these comfy suburbanites who do most of the complaining have Tuesday dinners at trendy restaurants. Ever noticed poor Catholics bashing issues--which are not really issues in the first place--over the heads of clerics? Thought not.

I don't blame a bishop for living in a nice big house. 99% of the time offices take up part of these buildings and other priests live there too. Several live with Cardinal Dolan, for example.

Furthermore, excluding large cities, how many of these episcopal mansions would actually sell in your average no-name See cities? Last time I checked housing markets still sucked.

And finally, in what way does living in a house constructed 100 years ago impinge upon a diocese's duty and ability to provide for the poor? I can stomach complains about new houses, but these old places, give me a break. Go back to online Chanel browsing. It's always the insecure suburbanite Catholics who are the most constantly "outraged," I think because they think that if they don't change the Church to fit their ideas of it then their reality will be destroyed and they will have an existential crisis.

Cameron said...

Lol while I'm on a roll, you have these hater lefty types who like to moan about things like, "Zomg, you are responsible for population out of control, you make women have 80 babies, zomg, zomg, Vatican II, zomg, I hate men, Vatican II, zomg, zomg, zomg!!!!"

Yet, have you EVER EVER EVER read anything about a woman who has a fair number of kids saying, "Zomg, I hate you Church! You made me have these 9 kids! I hate you! Ew! Vatican II!" No. I thought not. Never.

Cameron said...

For that matter, have you ever seen a poor immigrant Catholic get on the internet or have a minute on TV for complaining and moaning about bishops not living under park benches and eating bologna sandwiches 3x a day? No. Again, who is it? The moderately wealthy suburban AmChurch types.

I'm done now.

Aunt Flo said...

This story IS misleading. In most dioceses, bishops inherit residences that are often historic or at least paid for long ago.

However. when we get beyond these few high-profile archbishops, I think it might be more newsworthy to investigate the residences of the other bishops of the U.S.. Many smaller dioceses have bishops who live in pretty luxurious digs or expand where they are living, add various amenities then hit the faithful with a big appeal every year. No one expects bishops to live in austere poverty, but no one likes it either when they indulge in unnecessary luxuries.

rcg said...

Cost per square foot went up when we had clergy crisis. We can dilute the cost with FSSP. Would they like them in town?

Gene said...

Yo, Cameron! You are on a roll today, Dude! LOL!

Православный физик said...

Honestly, I don't care one way or the other about the living situation of the Bishop...I think there's a major problem of envy of property in society...

Cameron, your rant was well worth reading.

Rood Screen said...

What is "Zomg"?

Cameron said...

JBS zomg is a sort of nerdy 2004 version of OMG. It's a phrase I use to make fun when people blow things out of proportion, or when people say this a lot: "Vatican II says."

Anonymous said...

The main stream media is using this issue (these residences) against the bishops because they hate the Faith.

It makes no difference to me where a bishop chooses to live. I care about how the shepherd souls. And we can't allow the media to bully the bishops or the clergy.

This is why bishops need to wake up and stop wanting to be part of the "in crowd" and just be shepherds to the souls entrusted to their care. Stop worrying about being on the morning shows and being invited to political rallies. Just preach the Gospel and stop giving scandal by not calling politicians to change their lives (example: pro abortion, pro gay marriage, anti aid to the poor etc) and live according to the Gospel.

Not to point out anyone in particular, but this is why you don't invite the most pro abortion president who is persecuting the Church to a big gala dinner as guest of honor. It's serves no purpose other than to give scandal. Christ ate with sinners, He din't eat with Herod. The media is no friend of the pope,the bishops or the Church.

rcg said...

Hey, is that Prius in NYCPD paint in the photo? So this whole post is a joke? We were had!

GenXBen said...

I don't care if a Bishop lives in a nice house. I don't care if he lives in a palace for that matter. But if he pulls a long face while turning his pockets inside out and pleads poverty as an excuse for closing parishes and schools while pursuing a major upgrade of his digs, then I don't take it too well. These upgrades may be small potatoes compared to the cost if running a school, but the upgrade itself costs more than my house. And I'm the one implored to sacrifice.

But if things are going ok in the diocese and the Bishop wants to update his place, that's no issue for me

Rood Screen said...

All a cleric needs is a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen/kitchenette and an office (w/ a window in the door). No pets. No TV (just read Southern Orders for entertainment). And, he should be able to fit everything he owns into his compact car.