(RNS) From Beacon Hill to ”˜Bishop Bling,’ clergy housing faces new scrutiny

Bye-bye, “Bishop Bling.” So long, “Pastor Perks.” The so-called “Francis effect” may be real, at least when it comes to clerical housing, and could be coming to a church near you.

Pope Francis famously eschewed the trappings of the papal office, including deluxe digs in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, and the pressure of his example seems to be making itself felt.

Last week, the pontiff accepted the resignation of the most ostentatious offender, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg in Germany, aka “Bishop Bling” who spent a cool $43 million on a swank new residence and office complex while cutting staff.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

2 comments on “(RNS) From Beacon Hill to ”˜Bishop Bling,’ clergy housing faces new scrutiny

  1. MichaelA says:

    Sounds like a healthy emphasis by the Roman Catholic Church.

    Why do I suspect that the leadership of the Episcopal Church is going to be far less responsive to concerns about its spending habits…? :o|

  2. Catholic Mom says:

    [blockquote] The Diocese of Camden, N.J., includes one of the poorest cities in the country, which is partly why Bishop Dennis Sullivan made headlines in January for spending $500,000 to buy an historic 7,000-square-foot mansion with eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, three fireplaces, a library, a five-car garage and an in-ground pool. [/blockquote]

    I’d be the last one to defend clerical opulence, but if Bishop Sullivan actually lives in Camden, then that fact alone entitles him to some degree of hardship duty pay. I won’t even drive through Camden. I mean that literally. And $500k will buy you a garage where I live in NJ. I guarantee that my pastor’s modest residence cost a lot more than that.