CNN’s Belief Blog has a great rundown of the lavish homes of American archbishops who haven’t gotten the memo from Pope Francis about a “church which is poor and for the poor.” CNN reports that “10 of the 34 active archbishops in the United States live in buildings worth more than $1 million.” The median home value in the U.S. is $174,200.
Not surprisingly, that list includes some of the nation’s most outspoken conservative bishops—and allies of the Republican Party—who seem to take the whole “prince of the church” thing more literally than some of their fellow prelates. Here’s a rundown:
• Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who warned a few years back that the local gay pride parade might “morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan,” lives in a “one of a kind,” 19-chimneyed mansion in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood conservatively valued at $14.3 million. And he is waited on by three nuns who live in a nearby coach house—very Downton Abbey.
• Seattle Archbishop James Sartain, who is currently in charge of making sure that the naughty nuns of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious don’t spend too much time worrying about social justice issues, lives alone in a charming three-story brick Victorian home valued at $3.84 million.
• Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, head of the bishop’s Committee on Religious Liberty—the epicenter of the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage and the contraception mandate—and the man supposedly behind the investigation of the LCWR, lives in a 11,5000-square foot historic mansion that dates back to the first Catholic bishop of the United States.
• And last but certainly not least, Newark Archbishop John Myers, who has come under fire for the diocese’s failure to supervise a known predator priest and has been an outspoken opponent of John Kerry and other pro-choice Catholics, is adding a $500,000, 3,000-square foot wing to his $800,000, 4,500-square foot weekend/retirement home nestled on 8.2 wooded aces in New Jersey’s tony Hunterdon Country.
He needed the extra space for “an indoor exercise pool”—the house already has a large outdoor pool—“a hot tub, three fireplaces and a library.” Maybe he could have Boston Cardinal and Francis ally Sean O’Malley over for the weekend. The Franciscan lives in a “rundown rectory” in Boston’s South End. I bet he would love the hot tub.