Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Western Religions

Pope encourages simple lifestyle: how many clergy will follow example?

See also

With the recent news that a Catholic bishop in Germany and the archbishop of Atlanta have had their taste for the finer things derailed by the Vatican, faithful of all denominations are watching to see what happens.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Germany (known as the “Bishop of Bling”) was removed from his official position after spending $43 million of church funds on a luxury residence.

And Archbishop Wilton Gregory in Atlanta, Georgia, perhaps becoming aware that his decision wasn’t the smartest in light of the Franciscan ideals of the Pope, made a public apology and announced that he was reconsidering his decision to build a new $2.2 million mansion for himself (to take the place of the rectory he’d given up so that a new priests’ residence could be built on the same property).

Pope Francis, whose inspiration is the original St. Francis of Assisi (known for giving everything away and adopting an austere lifestyle while he and fellow brothers of his religious order served the poor) has made it very clear that he does not think that Catholic priests should be revering wealth more than service to God.

In light of the embarrassment caused by the “Bishop of Bling,” it is not yet clear whether the Vatican will take similar measures in the case of Archbishop Gregory, asking him to step down as well.

Many clergy of other denominations, not able to draw on resources like their counterparts in the Catholic church, often find themselves in the opposite situation, struggling to make ends meet in the face of dwindling resources and membership.

On the other hand, there are also denominations, similar to the Catholics, who could do well to learn from the current controversy over these free-spending bishops, and curtail their own bishops’ excesses.

Advertisement

Life

  • Tom Petty
    Seven overlooked videos that prove the genius of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Today's Buzz
  • Gaylord Pickens
    Discover Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum dollar days
    Camera
    6 Photos
  • Yoga poses
    Learn how to strengthen your core muscles with these yoga poses
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Baby boomer STD rates
    Sexually transmitted diseases: Baby boomers booming STD rates
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Open relationships
    Are you thinking about exercising your option to be in an open relationship?
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Medical symptoms
    See which symptoms should cause you to seek a doctor’s attention right away
    Camera
    6 Photos