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News & Politics News & Politics

‘Apologizes’ For Using Donation To Build Himself A $2.2 Million Mansion

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 1:36 AM
  • 10 Replies

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta has apologized for using a multi-million dollar donation to the Church to build a $2.2 million mansion for himself.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory funded the mansion out of $15 million left to the archdiocese by the estate of Joseph Mitchell, who died in 2011. Mitchell is the nephew of Margaret Mitchell, author of ‘Gone With The Wind’. Mitchell stated that his estate would pass to the archdiocese on the condition that it would be used for “general religious and charitable purposes”.

Archbishop Gregory has been heavily criticised for his extravagant spending, which stands in stark contract to the example of austerity being set by Pope Francis. He said he had received letters, e-mails and phone calls from local Catholics unhappy with the message he was sending.


In a statement on the archdiocesan website, Archbishop Gregory said:

“I am disappointed that, while my advisers and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God or north and central Georgia. I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services.”

Archbishop Gregory said he would discuss the controversy with several diocesan councils before making a decision. However he did say that if asked, he would demolish the mansion.

In his half-apology in which he defended the decision to build the mansion on fiscal grounds, but said he had not counted on being judged so harshly by his parishioners, His Grace seemed to suggest that he was sorry he had been caught. It reminded this writer of the apology issued by the Church in 2000 for the forced conversion and attempted extermination of Indians in Latin America. Following that apology, Pope Benedict XVI said that it was important to remember that, despite the violence and torture and murder, the indigenous people of the Americas were “silently awaiting” the coming of the Church and the Gospel.

This is not the first time individual bishops have found an exorbitant lifestyle to be at odds with the Church’s official position of austerity and simplicity. In October last year Americans Against the Tea Party reported that the Bishop of Limburg in Germany had been suspendedfrom pastoral duties after he admitted spending €40 million renovating the mansion that serves as his official residence.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 1:36 AM
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Replies (1-10):
PamR
by Platinum Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Ugh.

Schauseil
by Silver Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 10:49 AM
Lol
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM
1 mom liked this

Just kick him out of the church and put him in prison with the other crooks.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Gold Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM
1 mom liked this

 I thought that the church housed all of the clergy.  I didn't realized they were really -- allowed, for lack of a better word -- to just go get their own housing.  I'm not Catholic, so maybe someone of that faith would be able to clarify that for me.  I just don't understand how this was even able to happen.

 

And he should be ashamed of himself and look to the Pope's example.

Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Apr. 3, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Forgiveness over permission.

jaxTheMomm
by Gold Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Good Lord.  Insane.

DisabledVet
by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM
3 moms liked this

This is why I'm not a member of organized religion. Too much of the money is used to make the lives of the "preachers" overly fine. What happened to the idea of "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to get into heaven?"

And they are tax free. It's not just the Catholic Church...NPR had a great series of show about TV ministries. Might shock a lot of people.

Some gave all and all gave some. Remember your rights as an American were earned with the blood of others. Don't waste them and please do your duty as a citizen and vote intelligently in every election.


KenneMaw
by Member on Apr. 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

I live near Atlanta and this has been very big news here.   Many people have turned this into a rich vs. poor conversation saying "everyone is entitle to live their life and spend their money.  why should successful Christians have to live in poverty, etc...".    That is not the issue.  The #1 goal of any church should be to care for their parishoners.   I know there are people starving, homeless, down on their luck, without health insurance, etc.. in the Atlanta Catholic Church, so how can they justify a $2. million home for 1 man??!!!!  That money should be used to help the community and not have a man live alone in a house with 2 dining rooms, wine cellar, etc....     The pope has set a great example on how to live simply.  I think all church elders should follow his example.  Of coruse, we also have Creflo Dollar in this town and heaven knows he lives high on the hog.  He says the money for his homes, cars, etc...comes from personal investments and businesses and not his church, but still, it is hard to watch a man dripping in fine tailored clothing and gold jewelry preaching to people who are living on the edge of society and then these people who have nothing willing give all extras to the church.   It is just sad to me.  Very sad.   It just proves that money and power are 2 of the more powerful things in this world. 

jobseeker
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 4:09 PM

 brief explanation:

there are 2 types of priests, religious and diocesan. I know, it seems confusing.

Religious priests belong to an order.  Our Pope is a Jesuit.  He belongs to the order of the Society of Jesus.  There are other orders, Marionist,  Dominican, etc...  These priest live in community and answer to the order.  the order provides them with housing and meets their temporal needs.  (materials needed for day to day living, )

Diocesan priests are 'employees' of the Diocese in which they serve.  They answer to the Bishop of their Diocese and earn a salary.  The parish they are assigned to provide them with shelter.

Int his case it was the Bishop himself who acted irresponsibly with the funds he was entrusted with.  This is not the first time in history that a person in authority would have made uncharitable decisions.  There was a recent controversy surrounding a 'mega church' minister asking for donations to repair or replace his personal helicopter. 

This guy has owned up to his mistakes and has been disgraced.  We can choose to continue to point fingers and taunt, or we can accept his apologies and know that he will be living under a microscope for years to come.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 I thought that the church housed all of the clergy.  I didn't realized they were really -- allowed, for lack of a better word -- to just go get their own housing.  I'm not Catholic, so maybe someone of that faith would be able to clarify that for me.  I just don't understand how this was even able to happen.

 

And he should be ashamed of himself and look to the Pope's example.

 

1stmuslimah
by Gold Member on Apr. 5, 2014 at 4:16 PM

So he apologized. I find it very hard to believe that his apology meant anything since according to the article he has not sold the mansion and returned the money. This leads me to believe he is just sorry he got caught.

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