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US bishop reconsiders $2.3m retirement home

A Catholic bishop who came under intense criticism after his plans to retire in a $2.3 million home in California’s Silicon Valley became public, now says he will finish his days in a rectory.

Bishop Patrick McGrath confessed in a statement issued on Monday that he “erred in judgement” when the San Jose diocese purchased the five-bedroom home for his retirement.

“I failed to consider adequately the housing crisis in this valley and the struggles of so many families and communities in light of that crisis,” he said.

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“I have heard from many on this topic and I have decided that I will not move into this house.” McGrath said the diocese planned to sell the nearly 3,300-square-foot (306-square-meter) home as soon as possible and any profits from the sale would go to a charity fund.

“I assume full responsibility for this decision and I believe that the sale of the house is the appropriate action,” he said.

“When I retire, I now intend to live in a rectory at one of our parishes.” The purchase of the home with money earmarked for this purpose as well as the sale of a condominium where McGrath’s predecessor lived flies in the face of the church’s stated mission to help the poor, critics said.

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It also is at odds with Pope Francis’ desire for a less ostentatious church. Following his election in 2013, Pope Francis decided to shun the official grand papal apartments to live in a modest residence. 


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