Lifestyles of the Rich and Pious

CNN’s Belief Blog has a revealing rundown on the lavish homes of some American Catholic archbishops.

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 bishopswho seem to take the whole “prince of the church” thing more literally than some of their fellow prelates. Here’s a rundown:

• New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan lives in this 15,000-square foot neo-Gothic mansion on Madison Avenue appraised at $30 million.


• Cardinal Francis George of Chicago 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.

• Seattle Archbishop James Sartain lives alone in a charming three-story brick Victorian home valued at $3.84 million.

• Baltimore Archbishop William Lori lives in a 11,5000-square foot historic mansion that dates back to the first Catholic bishop of the United States.

• And l 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.”

Pope Francis lives here, in a small suite in the Vatican guesthouse.

Francis has talked about a “church which is poor and for the poor.” And he’s warned against church leaders who bear the “psychology of princes.”
“God save us from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings!” Francis said in his blueprint for the church.

The Vatican last year fired German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst — aka “The Bishop of Bling” — who spent $43 million to remodel his opulent pad.


12 thoughts on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Pious

  1. Have you also seen the palaces Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyers, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, and their ilk live in? Leaves the Catholic superstars for dead in my opinion.

    Be fair. I wonder what their mansions will be like in heaven. Yeah, it’s sickening.


    • What really bothers me is that they all claim to be hearing God, and that God says it’s okay that they live like kings and queens and that He delights in the prosperity of His children. They say that if you do not agree with them then you have a poverty mentality and need healing from such. I say that if they are hearing God encourage their lifestyle, then who the hell am I hearing, telling me that my flesh is my enemy and that I should not give in to it at any cost because its fruit is deadly?

      Do servants live as kings and queens? Did Jesus? Yet, by the world’s standard they work 24/7 and deserve to be given a wage commensurate with their executive positions, but I thought to be a true follower of Christ one must expect to lose everything:

      Luke 9:
      23 And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].
      24 For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it [from the penalty of eternal death].

      And for one who professes to be a disciple of Jesus, and a leader/shepherd of God’s flock, and at the same time is living an opulent lifestyle, is in reality feeding the lusts of the flesh.

      I say it is sin, and sin affects our ability to discern God’s truth……”Truly I tell you, they have their reward already.”


      • From an outsiders perspective though he does seem a very agreeable god
        There are people of faith who are homophobic and God agrees with them, there are people of faith who are chauvinistic and God agrees with them, there are people of faith who are racists and God agrees with them. Yet there are people of faith who also support equality and God agrees with them.

        On just about every issue that there is God seems to agree with every side.


      • Yes Bubba,

        It’s a worry. The way we Christians can twist the meaning of Scripture to make it agree with our mindsets is very upsetting to me.


  2. Pingback: Lifestyles of the Rich and Pious | Christians Anonymous

  3. How do you know that they’re conservative?

    I agree that this is not a good look and they need to really search their hearts and ask themselves, who is their God? Is it actually God or is it money and pompous living.

    I don’t think all of them would own these properties though, they are often shared with others and used as meeting places – still, they could live in small and modest quarters somewhere and just hire a hall. They need to be seen not to lust for luxury.


  4. I think these Bishops have nothing on the Prosperity Gospel Preachers like Joel Osteen who has an estimated $56 million.


  5. Not all Priests and Preachers are going to live like Mother Theresa. She donned simple clothing and walked the streets with the poor but her practising of what she preached was effective in changing many hearts. People can see who has a genuine love of God’s word and who doesn’t.


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