Friday, April 4, 2014

"Gone with the Wind" - Archbishop "Bling"

Not too long ago, Pope Francis removed Bishop Van Elst of the Limburg diocese for wasting 31 million euros on a residential complex full of luxurious accommodations. He was dubbed "Bishop Bling" by locals.  It seems now that we have in the United States of America our own "Archbishop Bling."

Former USCCB president and the main face of the sex abuse scandals in the early 2000's, Archbishop Wilton Gregory is in hot water for buying a $2.2 million dollar mansion for his own use. The mansion has over 6,000 sq. ft. of space, two dining rooms, a safe room and even a swimming pool!

The Archbishop later apologized saying,

"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."  

What is even more troubling about this situation is where the money came from.  Joseph Mitchell,
the nephew of Margaret Mitchell who authored the classic "Gone With The Wind" left much of his estate to the archdiocese asking that it be used for charitable purposes. Instead, the $15 million dollars was used for purchasing property leaving only about $3 million for Catholic Charities.

Gregory's old residence
Gregory's old home -which is luxurious as well- was sold to the Cathedral and is being reconstructed to be used by six priests.  I am still trying to figure out why was it sold if it was already owned by the diocese. Anyhow, Gregory is now saying that the new mansion will be sold if his Church advisers wish it.

This story is just appalling. Why does Archbishop Gregory need a $2.2 million dollar mansion?  This mansion has a pool, two dining rooms, a large walk-in closet and a safe room!  Seriously, a safe room??  Who does he need security from?  He is not the President of the United States of America or even the Pope.  His old home looked okay and is luxurious as well. I do not understand why he did not sell that one just like other bishops have done throughout the nation even before Pope Francis was elected.  The 19th century mansions were sold off by some bishops in dioceses throughout the States.

Mansion Gregory bought for $2.2 million
Moreover, the money used to build this house was supposed to be used for charitable purposes.
Gregory should have remained in his old residence and live with the six priests who are moving in it just like the Holy Father lives with the bishops and staff of the Vatican instead of being isolated from them.

Archbishop Gregory should offer his resignation. He is obviously not fit to lead anyone spiritually. There is absolutely no justification in misusing money; especially for a mansion. A simple house or apartment is suffice for a priest or bishop. There is no need to have a huge mansion; not only because it gives off the wrong message and is spiritually destructive, but because it is expensive to maintain.

The Archbishop should be sent to a monastery to live in poverty for the rest of his life as his penance.    

Aerial view of this new mansion


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