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You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too?
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Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Last year, Pope Francis made headlines by transferred Germany's "Bishop of Bling," Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, a bishop who allegedly spent millions of Euros on his own mansion and lived a lavish lifestyle.
Although the transfer was done quietly, it did not go unnoticed by bishops and cardinals around the globe. It raised an issue concerning lifestyle and vocation. Perhaps, some had made themselves quite comfortable within homes owned by the Church, and even lost sight of their own specific vocation and witness.
Pope Francis has criticized what he called "airport bishops" and clergy who drive fancy cars while flying to engagements around the world. According to Francis, bishops and archbishops should be focused on pastoral duties. They should live simplicity of life, as clergy and consecrated celibates.
When the Vatican Almoner complained that he was virtually chained to his desk with administrative duties, Pope Francis admonished him that he could sell his desk. The Almoner now goes out at night to distribute alms to the poor of Rome.
"God save us from a worldly Church" Pope Francis was quoted by CNN. Clearly, Gospel simplicity is central to his writings.
Everyone knows that Pope Francis is a man who lives simply. He is also known for his piety and humility. In the light of that visible witness, the homes of some American Bishops and Cardinals will certainly attract attention.
Here is the list provided by CNN of homes occupied by high-ranking clergy within the Church.
What do you think? Should American clergy reside in these homes? Does it send the right witness to the world? What about if the homes are shared with other clergy?
We need to pray for all of our clergy. We also need to live Gospel simplicity, in a way which flows from our own state in life and vocation.
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