Pope Francis has proven himself to be sympathetic to the plight of the poor and expects his followers to exude a similar temperament. So when it was revealed that Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory was living in a lavish home in an exclusive community, many were outraged. Now Gregory says the $2.2 million dollar home was a “strategic mistake” that he regrets.
Speaking to CBS 46, Gregory says that “not enough” thought went into his decision to move into that home.
“At the time it appeared pre-Francis that I would be leaving one house in Buckhead, a very nice house, a $2 million house and moving into a replacement. Given the world that now exists, and the transition, and I started planning under Pope Benedict, and I had to backtrack under Francis,” Archbishop Gregory explained.
“It was a strategic mistake that perhaps I should have seen in advance but I was pretty much on automatic pilot. It was the cathedral [who] approached me and said would you sell us your house? I said yes and I’ll use those funds and build another house. What did it mean? Well it meant that the house really meant nothing to me.”
Under pressure from the community, Gregory was eventually forced to apologize for moving into the home. He says he regrets not actually thinking through how the move would impact people.
“What was compromised was I didn’t reflect enough on the action before taking it and I failed to understand what an impact it might have on other people,” said Archbishop Gregory.
Gregory says the home, which was built on land donated by the nephew of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, “came with the job” and he used just the same as priests who’d come before him.