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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta announced he would be selling the archbishop’s residence after a firestorm of criticism erupted over the home’s US$2.2 million price tag and its location in an exclusive neighborhood. The decision came after consultation with both the archdiocesan financial council and other advisory boards.
Archbishop Gregory had built the house after handing his previous residence in the grounds of the Cathedral of Christ the King to the cathedral parish for use as a rectory. The cathedral parish has been growing so quickly that the previous rectory was not large enough to accommodate the priests, and more land was needed to expand other facilities. The archdiocese used proceeds from the will of Joseph Mitchell, nephew of Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, for both the new construction at the cathedral and the new house for the archbishop. Archbishop Gregory moved into the house in January.
Last week, after criticism of the new house’s cost, Archbishop Gregory penned a heartfelt statement in the diocesan newspaper, the Georgia Bulletin.
“As the shepherd of this local church, a responsibility I hold more dear than any other, certainly more than any configuration of brick and mortar, I am disappointed that, while my advisers and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God,” Gregory wrote.
“The passionate indictments of me as a bishop of the Catholic Church are stinging and sincere. And I should have seen them coming.”