Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sacrificing Self for God

"Archbishop Myers obviously is not paying any attention to the Pope. This is extreme, way beyond what you'd expect to happen. I can't believe the parishioners of Newark are going to allow this to happen."
Charles Zech, Villanova University business school
1.3 million-strong Catholic diocese pays out $500,000 for Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark's luxury retirement palace while Church cries poverty.  Photo by CNS

"Nothing short of an assault on the goodwill and trust of the people of God. The arrogance and self-importance required to undertake such a project on one's own behalf and funded, at least partially, with the proceeds from the sale of other archdiocesan-owned property is breathtaking."
National Catholic Reporter, editorial
Bishop Dennis J. SullivanBishop Dennis J. Sullivan
Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan (Photo courtesy of Diocese of Camden via

Read More: Camden Diocese Buying New Home for Bishop |

The National Catholic Reporter published the information that in the Camden, New Jersey diocese, Bishop Dennis Sullivan purchased a 7,000 square-foot mansion complete with eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, with an in0-ground pool, three fireplaces, a library and a five-car garage. In Newark, reported the paper, 28% of the population live below the poverty level.

2006 photo of Woodbury, N.J., home bought for bishop of the Diocese of Camden.(Photo: Al Schell, (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post)

This kind of self-entitlement appears to be a specialty among some high-placed members of the Roman Catholic Church, defying and effectively denying their new Pope's message of frugality and thought for the poor of the Earth. Pope Francis has called upon members of his church to be extremely aware and sympathetic to the needs of the poor; he abjures the wretchedness of the capitalist system that results in wealth and poverty.

"Money and economic power can be a means to distance people from one another, confining them to an egocentric and egotistical plane", he wrote in a recently published preface to a book on the mission of the poor, entitled "Poor for the Poor". The message flies above the disinterested and obviously oblivious notice of some, like the New Jersey Bishop and the Newark Archbishop.

New Jersey Archbishop John Myers is being criticized for his disinterest in the plight of the poor in his diocese, and his fixation on his retirement in two years' time. In the spirit of it's never too early to plan for retirement, he is feathering an opulent nest for himself in contemplation of leisure time to enjoy it to full advantage.
He has paid out a princely $500,000 for a 4,500-square-foot, five bedroom, three bathroom, three-car-garage mansion, with a large outdoor pool. Fit for a prince of the church, without doubt. The local Star-Ledger newspaper has reported as well that the archbishop is in the full throes of having a three-storey, 3,000-square-foot addition built onto this already sumptuous home. The addition will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator.

The house, actually, is currently used by Archbishop Myers as a weekend residence. He is preparing it for his full-time residence. His spokesperson, Jim Goodness, (how aptly named!) informed the newspaper that the addition would be paid for through selling the off of other church-owned properties. Kindly donors had also contributed to the $700,000 upgrades-cost.

Despite the advice by the good Pope, these men of the church know full well that money can help people achieve goals, and they are simply using the Church money at their command to achieve their personal goals; that it is at the expense of the community which they serve, is simply an incidental inconvenience -- not for the archbishop and the bishop involved perhaps, but the faithful who subscribe to the injunction to give and support their church.

And mostly to the disadvantage of the poor among them.

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