Bishops in Saginaw, Hartford, Cincinnati, and a few other places have left a high bar for successors to follow. When old-style episcopal houses/mansions are discarded or reused, and a new prelate enters with different expectations for living, what happens?
The Cincinnati archdiocese is providing its new coadjutor archbishop, Dennis Schnurr, a $470K home. The new bishop declined to comment, leaving pr and damage control to diocesan spokesperson Dan Andriacco:
(T)he archbishop intends to use the 3,200-square-foot house for church functions and as a “ministry of hospitality,” which likely would include meetings with seminarians, priests and others.
He said Schnurr also has a large family, including five siblings and 15 nieces and nephews, and wanted a home larger than an apartment so he could accommodate frequent visits. He said Pilarczyk, an only child, didn’t require that kind of space.
“He has some relatives, and that’s something we haven’t had for awhile in the archdiocese,” Andriacco said. “He also needs a place that is suitable for the way he plans to exercise his ministry.”
It’s too bad, in a way, that the climate for bishops has deteriorated to the point where a permanent home is always questioned in situations like these. Unpopular bishops–or new ones–get questioned mercilessly. For a popular bishop, this would be skipped over, don’t you think? Would private donors fronting money be a better way to go? Or should bishops go along with the precedent set by guys who prefer apartments, rectories, or even nursing homes?
Is an example of poverty living important for a bishop? While I appreciate the desire to entertain a large family or a corps of seminarians and priests, I’d say Andriacco is in a tough spot to sell it to Cincinnati Catholics.
What do you say?