Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Catholic Abp. John J. Myers of Newark and the McMansion

I am mentally comparing the spartan accommodations of the Diocese of the South's Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory and am unable to formulate a reason one might need a house this lavish. I'm not one to demand squalor, but 7,500 square feet complete with a large outdoor pool and an Endless Pool? Many of our Orthodox seminaries are not this large.

(nj.com) - The 4,500-square-foot home sits on 8.2 wooded acres in the hills of Hunterdon County. With five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a three-car garage and a big outdoor pool, it’s valued at nearly $800,000, records show.

But it’s not quite roomy enough for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.

Myers, who has used the Franklin Township house as a weekend residence since the archdiocese purchased it in 2002, is building a three-story, 3,000-square-foot addition in anticipation of his retirement in two years, The Star-Ledger found. He will then move in full-time, a spokesman for the archbishop said.

The new wing, now just a wood frame, will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator, among other amenities, according to blueprints and permits filed with the Franklin Township building department.

The price tag, the records show, will be a minimum of a half million dollars, a figure that does not include architectural costs, furnishings and landscaping.

Construction is progressing as Myers asks the 1.3 million Roman Catholics of the archdiocese to open their wallets for the "archbishop’s annual appeal," a fundraising effort that supports an array of initiatives, including religious education, the training of future priests and feeding the poor.

More significantly, it comes at a time when Pope Francis has made profligate church spending a target of his early tenure...
Complete article here.


  1. There is not a single good reason why a celibate archbishop would need a home with five bedrooms, unless he plans to found a new monastery, but evidently that is not the case. Thankfully at least one news outlet had the will to investigate the matter, but I wonder why the Catholic press didn't notice this earlier.

  2. Other possible reasons: his mother made him promise to care for his nephew's family and the daughter benefits from a therapy pool... or, he and his friends are founding a new Catholic media company and anticipate a need for a lot of server space... or, he inherited a great collection of antiques from his mentor and plans a private museum.

  3. Maybe he's building it with proceeds from the sci-fi novel he published.

    Okay...I can't hit post on that suggestion with a straight face. *sigh*

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    ON DECEMBER 7, 1965
    " Led by the Spirit of the Lord, who anointed the Savior and sent him to evangelize the poor,(53) priests, therefore, and also bishops, should avoid everything which in any way could turn the poor away. Before the other followers of Christ, let priests set aside every appearance of vanity in their possessions. Let them arrange their homes so that they might not appear unapproachable to anyone, lest anyone, even the most humble, fear to visit them."