Lifestyles of the rich archbishops

CNN notes that being a big noise in the Catholic church provides some pretty comfortable lodgings.

There’s Timothy Dolan’s cottage on Madison Avenue, for instance.

From Google

It’s 15,000 square feet. He squeezes into it with three other priests. Not too shabby, is it.

The one in Chicago for Cardinal Francis George is even nicer.

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.

George, whose private quarters occupy the mansion’s top two floors, according to the archdiocese, shares the residence with two bishops and a priest.

Three nuns who care for the cardinal and his mansion live in a 5,800-square-foot coach house near the main residence.

The mansion’s size, architectural details, location and unobstructed view of nearby Lincoln Park make the residence “one of a kind,” said Thomas Schurer, director of sales for Chicago’s Real Valuation Services, which appraised George’s residence for CNN.

But hey, they deserve it for their hard work in making sure that women who have incomplete miscarriages will die because they can’t get an abortion.


  1. lorn says

    What gets me is not that the Catholic church owns the property, Microsoft owns property and, outside the tendency of one to harbor child molesters, I don’t see any ethical reason for one to be allowed and not the other.

    What frosts my shorts is that they don’t pay property, or any other, taxes. It is clear that if their property catches fire they fully expect the fire department to mount up, ride hard, and work hard to put the fire out. If there is an intruder they expect the police to perform their service. The priests use the roads and highways, their storm water is treated and dispersed along with the general public’s. They benefit from the laws and regulations that establish standards and help keep them safe. But they don’t pay for any of it. For them it is all benefit and no cost.

  2. smrnda says

    Regrettably, this is nothing new, nor out or character for a religion whose leader is decked with gold, with a golden hat sitting on an ornate throne. If an actual CEO of a money-grubbing corporation were to flaunt that level of opulence, it would be seen as excessive, but apparently it’s okay for a supposedly non-profit agency to put a gold grown on their leader’s head?

  3. says

    Actually, I just realized that wasn’t particularly funny. I got carried away with the chance to drop a Python reference. 🙁

    5,000 SF is pretty huge even divided by 4. An apartment on Madison Avenue 1br/1ba is about $4000/month and I somehow suspect it’s not as nice. So that’s around $60,000/year worth of goodies he’s getting right there.

  4. Al Dente says

    Other than the crosses on the roof peaks, it looks suitable for Gomez and Morticia Addams.

  5. Trebuchet says

    What gets me is not that the Catholic church owns the property, Microsoft owns property and, outside the tendency of one to harbor child molesters, I don’t see any ethical reason for one to be allowed and not the other.

    But Microsoft, as far as I know, did not build Bill Gates his house and allow him to live there rent-free. Other than that, both the Church and Microsoft are evil incarnate. Or perhaps incorporate. That goes for Apple and Google as well.

    And of course, these bishops are pikers compared to many televangelists and megachurch pastors.

  6. Blanche Quizno says

    My feeling is that, during Christianity’s early years, the Church provided an independent path of upward mobility that was not dependent upon the station of one’s birth. Sure, the royals and nobles got lots of goodies, but the Church offered a slim chance that someone of common birth might just rise through the ranks and end up with power and riches to rival the royals’ and nobles’! Sure, some of the top Church leaders were relatives of the crown and whatnot, but still. Even now, go to any town in the Bible Belt and you’ll see church buildings named after powerful clergy; plaques commemorating old-timey preachers who were apparently more influential in their communities than any public official; graveyards where the best plot with the biggest monument is the preacher’s. So these commoners could get themselves a share of the immortality that only money can buy – they didn’t have to be born into it. That must’ve given the Church powerful appeal as a way for the social-climbing nobody to still manage to get what the “haves” had to be born into.

  7. says

    What gets me is the handmaidens thing – how come these celibates always just happen to have female housekeepers on hand? What’s wrong with sharing the chores like any other house-share, or being in the Lord’s Army?
    It surely can’t be misogyny and male entitlement.

  8. Abdul Alhazred says

    To my way of thinking, the problem is the the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t pay real estate taxes. Not that their executives get free housing.

    That’s a drop in the bucket. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and environs? That would be a tax bill similar to that of Rockefeller Center (across the street).

    Compare what an archbishop gets to someone with a comparable position in a secular corporation. It’s really pretty small stuff. even if not particularly Jesus-like.

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