Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Continuing Scandal--Lifestyles of the Rich and Pious

"Foxes have their lairs, birds have their nests, but the Son of Man doesn't have a place he can call his home." Jesus Christ...

His represenatives today...fromORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY OC Weekly: Cover: Lifestyles of the Rich and Pious:

"Would you like to work for a company that, when facing millions of dollars in lawsuits, buys you a multimillion-dollar house? How about an employer who adds a second story to your already-massive abode even while the government forces it to pay $5.2 million to settle a lawsuit?

Think it can only happen at Halliburton? Well, think again: you can enjoy all of this if you're a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Orange!

Yes, when Bishop Tod D. Brown became the spiritual head of Orange County's 1.2 million Catholics in 1998, he abandoned the Church's millennia-old practice of housing priests in humble rectories on parish grounds and began shacking up clergy in fancy digs few of the faithful could afford: quaint Balboa Island bungalows, beachside manses and other high-class abodes featuring three-car garages, walk-in closets and in-ground spas. In a confidential Sept. 3 memo written by Father Michael Heher to diocesan priests, Heher defended this practice by citing Brown's policy of allowing priests 'to live off-site, affording them more privacy and a place away from their work environment.' And just last month, Brown admitted to purchasing a gated-community lot on which he plans to have built a multimillion-dollar mansion for himself near the proposed site of the $100 million Christ Our Savior Cathedral in Santa Ana (see accompanying story 'Rooms at the Inn')."

Check out the story for pictures of some of the "rectories" in the diocese.