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Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta apologizes for building $2M mansion

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Atlanta, says he "failed" his flock when he built a $2.2 million residence.

By Frances Burns
Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta apologizes for building $2M mansion
SLP2003062103- ST. LOUIS, June 19 (UPI) -- Wilton Gregory, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, leaves the room at the conclusion of the three day conference at St. Louis Union Station in St. Louis on June 21, 2003. jg/bg/Bill Greenblatt UPI | License Photo

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Atlanta, says he "failed" his flock when he built a $2.2 million residence.

Gregory said in an article Monday in a Catholic newspaper, the Georgia Bulletin, that the "world and church have changed." He said that if church bodies decide it is appropriate he will sell the mansion in Atlanta's upmarket Buckhead neighborhood.

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“I am disappointed that, while my advisers 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 with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” Gregory wrote.

Pope Francis, who was elected last year, is known for his modest lifestyle. Francis has been living in a guest house at the Vatican instead of the papal apartments.

A few days ago, Francis accepted the resignation of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst as bishop of Limburg. He had been nicknamed the "bishop of bling" in Germany because of his lavish spending.

The new episcopal mansion in Atlanta was built on property left to the church by Joseph Mitchell, nephew of "Gone with the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell. Mitchell also left the church $15 million.

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The archdiocese decided to tear down Mitchell's house, replacing it with a residence of more than 6,000 square feet. The archbishop's former residence is being converted into a rectory for Christ the King Parish.

[ajc.com]

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