Pope Francis has put a focus on ending the opulence of the Catholic Church, refusing to stay in the dazzling Papal apartment and staying in a small suite in a guest house instead. He’s even fired one bishop who built a mansion for himself worth more than $40 million. But it appears he needs to clean house on American bishops too.
But are American archbishops following Francis’ lead?
A CNN investigation found that at least 10 of the 34 active archbishops in the United States live in buildings worth more than $1 million, according to church and government records.*
That’s not counting hundreds of retired and active Catholic bishops in smaller cities, some of whom live equally large.
Among archbishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York leads the pack with this 15,000-square-foot mansion on Madison Avenue, in one of the priciest corridors of Manhattan.Vanderbilt Appraisal Company, a New York firm hired by CNN to estimate the building’s value, said it’s worth at least $30 million. Dolan shares the neo-Gothic mansion, which is reportedly filled with thick red carpets and priceless antiques, with three other priests.
Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George lives in a pretty fancy crib, too.
This mansion has 19 chimneys and sits on 1.7 acres of prime real estate in Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood. It’s worth $14.3 million “as is,” but the property could fetch far more, appraisers told CNN.
The Catholic Church does a lot of good work in helping the poor, running thousands of soup kitchens, homeless missions and food banks. But think how much more they could do without this outrageous spending?