Archbishop Apologizes for $2.2M Mansion
Atlanta's Wilton Gregory says he failed to consider the 'pastoral implications' of move
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2014 8:33 AM CDT
In this Aug. 26, 2008, file photo, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta exits the St. Clair County Courthouse in Belleville, Ill.   (AP Photo/ Belleville News-Democrat, Derik Holtmann, File)

(Newser) – Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory has issued an apology after reports that he'd built himself a $2.2 million mansion sparked outrage in the diocese. Gregory bought the mansion with a $15 million posthumous gift from Gone With the Wind heir Joseph Mitchell, who wanted the money spent on "general religious and charitable purposes," the AP reports. In a post on the archdiocese' news site, Gregory explains that he was generously selling his old home to a nearby cathedral, and building himself a "comparable" residence.

"While my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility," Gregory writes, adding that Pope Francis has "set the bar" higher for priestly humility. He promises to consult with other church officials and sell the residence if they advise him to. But that promise didn't mollify one vocal parishioner. "He needs to speak with the people in the pews" instead, she tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gregory isn't the only bishop being attacked for his luxurious abode. Click for more on a similar fracas in Newark.