Atlanta Archbishop Apologizes for Building $2.2 Million Mansion

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 06:58 PM

By Ken Mandel

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One week after Pope Francis removed a German bishop for lavish spending, Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion.

Through letters, emails, and meetings, local parishioners made it known that they felt Gregory was wrong to construct a multimillion-dollar home in nearby Buckhead, an upscale section of Atlanta, especially given Pope Francis' modest lifestyle.

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Gregory's home encompasses nearly 6,400 square feet and includes two dining rooms and a safe room.

"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," Gregory wrote Monday on the website of the archdiocesan newspaper The Georgia Bulletin. "I failed to consider the example I was setting for the young sons of the mother who sent the email message with which I began this column. To all of you, I apologize sincerely and from my heart."

Continuing, Gregory wrote that the archdiocese will begin the process of selling his residence, and he will look to buy or rent something more appropriate.

Last week, Pope Francis permanently removed German Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from his Limburg diocese after his $43 million new residence complex angered his parishioners.

In February, the archbishop of Newark, N.J., John J. Myers, was criticized after The Star-Ledger reported hundreds of thousands of planned additions to his $800,000 home.

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