After facing intense criticism from his parishioners, Atlanta's Archbishop Wilton Gregory has decided to sell the $2.2 million mansion he moved into three months ago.
"I'm disappointed in myself. And I don't intend to do that mistake again."
The 6,000-square-foot Tudor style house, was built using land and money from a $15 million donation to the diocese by Joseph Mitchell, a nephew of "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell.
Many church members weren't happy with how Gregory chose to spend that gift. "You are called to a different light, and you have to live differently. You have to represent all people."
In a statement posted on the Archdiocese's newspaper, Gregory explains he originally built the mansion after selling his previous home to a local church, which needed living space for its priests.
"The plan seemed very simple. We will build here what we had there. ... What we didn’t stop to consider, and that oversight rests with me and me alone, was that the world and the Church have changed." (Via The Georgia Bulletin)
Specifically, Gregory referred to the election of Pope Francis last year, who's austere lifestyle put other high-profile church leaders under scrutiny. CNN notes bishops in New Jersey and West Virginia have been criticized for leading comparably lavish lifestyles.
And the Archbishop's decision comes one month after Germany's so-called "Bling Bishop" stepped down after it was revealed he spent 31 million Euros renovating his house. (Via Euronews)
Gregory left the fate of his new house up to a council of church members Saturday — some of whom stuck up for the Archbishop's choice.
"All you hear is, all around the world and the country, is telling on how he's done something wrong. And he hasn't done anything wrong." (Via WXIA)
The archbishop hasn't announced when he's putting the property on the market, but he says all proceeds from the sale will go to help the Catholic community in Atlanta.