The home of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory is seen in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia. Photo from Reuters
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta, who has been
criticised for lavish spending of church money, has decided
to sell the $2.2 million mansion he has been using as his
Money from the sale of the Tudor-style home in an exclusive
neighbourhood will be used for "the needs of the Catholic
community," Archbishop Wilton Gregory said in a statement.
Gregory has been heavily criticised by many inside and
outside the church for spending money to build the mansion,
and he wrote in a newspaper article earlier this week that he
took his "eye off the ball" after the archdiocese received a
$15 million donation from the estate of Joseph Mitchell, a
nephew "Gone With The Wind" author, Margaret Mitchell.
Pope Francis has been urging Roman Catholic officials to live
simpler lives and has renounced the papal apartments in the
Vatican palace for modest quarters in a Church guest house.
On Saturday (local time), the 66-year-old Gregory said that
he will leave the new home in early May and possibly move
into a smaller property owned by the archdiocese.
"I want to thank those parishioners whose prayers, counsel
and concern brought this issue to light and ensured that
their Archbishop was properly attuned to the important
symbolism of simple actions and the challenges faced by many
of the faithful in the Archdiocese of Atlanta", Gregory said
in his statement.
Gregory's personal living quarters in the 6,300 square-foot
Atlanta mansion amounts to about 700 square feet, Patricia
Chivers, an archdiocese spokeswoman told Reuters.
"The rest is for entertaining and for events such as
gathering of the nuns," said Chivers. "There are constant
Controversy over the mansion has turned out to be a
distraction for the church, she said.
The Vatican removed a German bishop - dubbed the "Bishop of
Bling" - last month from his job because he spent 31 million
euros ($43 million) on a residence where fittings included a
bath that cost 15,000 euros and 2.9-million-euro private