by Marie S.
Using a wooden chair instead of the golden chair, using old black shoes and not the prada, using a silver ring instead of gold, and opting not to use the red carpet, these are just some of the preferences of Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, which undoubtedly shows his humility and simplicity in spirit. This however, is also the reason why some members of the Catholic community seem to question the validity of Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s having bought a $2.2 million mansion.
Archbishop Gregory of Atlanta, said he has been hosting thousands of people for dinners and social events in his old home. But he has sold his old residence to the Christ the King Cathedral so that the priests can use it as their residence to allow for more space within the cathedral campus. He sold it for $1.9 million, funds of which the Christ the King Cathedral obtained from donations given to them by Joseph Mitchell, who was the nephew of the famed author of “Gone With The Wind,” Margaret Mitchell.
Mitchell had stated in his will that he has asked church officials (with preferential consideration to Christ the King Cathedral, it being his home parish) to use his estate of more than $15 million for “general religious and charitable purposes.”
Using the funds from the sale and added with some funds from the diocese, the archbishop embarked on purchasing and having his new home built. This led to controversy, since people were quite curious about a member of the church spending so much money on what appeared to be raw extravagance.
The Archbishop, however, stated that he did send a public letter of apology to the Pope’s Ambassador in Washington.
Facing such controversy, Archbishop Gregory now says this about his 6,400-square-foot Tudor-style mansion: “I intend to speak directly and clearly, but more importantly I intend to listen to them, which I did not do effectively at the beginning of the process,” he said. “My heart tells me… they’re going to recommend that the property be sold. But I don’t want to anticipate that, I don’t want to deprive them of the opportunity to grapple with me over the situation. But I’d be surprised if they didn’t.”
If the recommendation of his diocese will be to sell the property, confirming his intentions to be obedient and modest, the archbishop said, “I certainly won’t try to replicate that (the mansion) in a future purchase or rental.”