Atlanta archbishop Wilton Gregory sells his $2.2 mansion after backlash; Proceeds to go to community

Published 07 April 2014
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

After raising backlash in the Atlanta catholic community for purchasing a $2.2 million dollar home, Atlanta Roman Catholic archbishop, Wilton Gregory is selling his recently built mansion. The house has now gone up for sale, and proceeds will be spent on the local Catholic community, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Once it was learned that Gregory would be moving into an expensive home in what is considered a prestigious area of Atlanta, many accused the archbishop of lacking the frugal ways of Pope Francis. Gregory acknowledged in a statement that he received many "candidly rebuking letters, emails and telephone messages."

The Los Angeles Times reports that following the uproar, the archbishop had a meeting with church members and community leaders. He later announced that he would leave the residence early next month and put the property up for sale.

Atlanta's NBC affiliate initially reported that the 6,000-square-foot home was built by the estate of Joseph Mitchell, whose aunt Margaret Mitchell wrote "Gone With The Wind." Now the archdiocese is turning the mansion into a home for priests from the parish that Joseph Mitchell had been a member of. In his will, Mitchell requested that the money he left over be used to benefit that growing parish, Cathedral of Christ, which plans to use its own old priest housing area for other purposes.

The Associated Press reported that the archbishop's mansion has an upper-level safe room, an eight-burner kitchen stove, an elevator and two dining rooms.

In his state released this week, Gregory wrote that although he felt he built his home "fiscally, logistically and practically," he did not account for how families in the community struggling to pay their bills would view his living in a large home.

"We teach that stewardship is half about what you give away, and half about how you use what you choose to keep," Gregory's column in the Georgia Bulletin reads. "I believe that to be true."

The archbishop is now searching for a new place to live, and will not be moving back into his old home.

"I humbly and contritely ask your prayers for me," he wrote, "and I assure you, as always, of mine for you."

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