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Archbishop promises to sell $2.2 million mansion to live somewhere 'modest'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/6/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Donation came from heir who instructed money be used for 'religious or charitable purposes'

Bending to pressure, the Archbishop of Atlanta, Wilton Gregory says he will sell his $2.2 million mansion. Gregory was only able to enjoy the luxurious digs before angry parishioners demanded that he move.

Money from the sale of the Tudor-style home in an exclusive neighborhood will be used for 'the needs of the Catholic community.'

Money from the sale of the Tudor-style home in an exclusive neighborhood will be used for "the needs of the Catholic community."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/6/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Archbishop, mansion, sale


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The archbishop announced the decision after a closed-door meeting with members of several church councils at his headquarters north of Atlanta.

"I have decided to sell the Habersham property and invest the proceeds from that sale into the needs of the Catholic community," Gregory said in a public apology. He said he will move in early May. 

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Rev. Wilton Gregory, the Archbishop of Atlanta, has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion f

Rev. Wilton Gregory, the Archbishop of Atlanta, has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion for himself, a decision criticized by local Catholics who cited the example of austerity set by the new pope. He will now sell the sprawling house.


Money from the sale of the Tudor-style home in an exclusive neighborhood will be used for "the needs of the Catholic community."

It's not yet known where Gregory will live next. He will not return to his old residence, which was sold for $1.9 million to Christ the King Cathedral.

The new $2.2 million mansion that is the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory stands in th

The new $2.2 million mansion that is the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory stands in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood in Atlanta. Gregory apologized for his spending and will now sell the house.


The cathedral plans to expand the archbishop's former home and house its priests there.

Gregory says he would seek to live in a setting more modest than his current mansion or his previous home.

A safe room is seen in an original floor plan for the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory

A safe room is seen in an original floor plan for the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory.


A group of Catholics in Gregory's diocese had asked since January that he sell the more than 6,000-square-foot home in keeping with the tone of austerity set by Pope Francis.

The pope has made it clear that he wants a church for the poor, drives in an economy car and lives in a guestroom instead of a Vatican palace. He has denounced the "idolatry of money" and warned against "insidious worldliness" within the church.

Interior decorating samples for the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory is seen inside a

Interior decorating samples for the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory is seen inside a conference room during an interview with Gregory on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. He has now promised to sell the house.


The mansion was made possible by a generous multimillion dollar gift to the archdiocese.

"He is the person we follow locally," Laura Mullins, one of the faithful who asked Gregory to sell, said. Mullins praised the archbishop for making a quick decision and ending the controversy. "He sets the mood. He sets the example for all of us to follow. If he is choosing to use a gift so personally, what does that tell the people sitting in the pews?"

Gregory thanked parishioners for raising the issue, and he acknowledged earlier this week the importance of Francis' example.

"He's called us to live more simply," Gregory said in an interview last week prior to his announcement.

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansi

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion to use as his home, a move that made him the object of derision and complaint, and said he will sell it.


"He also has encouraged bishops to grow closer to their people, to listen to their people. And that, I take as a pretty serious admonition. I'm disappointed in myself ... because in my nine years, I do believe that I've grown very close to the people of the archdiocese. And I think this decision is an aberration rather than a pattern."

Joseph Mitchell, the nephew of the author of "Gone with the Wind," Margaret Mitchell left an estate worth more than $15 million to the local church when he died in 2011. Mitchell asked in his will that the proceeds be used for "general religious and charitable purposes."

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