When news broke that the Catholic Diocese of San Jose had purchased a 5-bedroom, $2.3 million home in Silicon Valley for its retiring bishop, the public was not too happy about it.
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, 73, acknowledged in an interview that the price tag is “a lot of money,” saying “I could understand” it might not sit well with some parishioners.
The nearly 3,300-square-foot home’s listing boasts of a “grand-sized chef’s kitchen,” ”soaring ceilings” and “luxurious master ensuite” with a “spa-like marble bathroom” in a “Tuscan estate.”
It was purchased with funds set aside for paying the costs of a bishop’s housing and upkeep after retirement, said diocese communications director Liz Sullivan.
After public outcry, Bishop McGrath released a statement Monday saying he would not be moving into the home and that he had “erred in judgment.”
The house will now be put up for sale and any profits will be donated to Charities Housing, a division of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.
Bishop McGrath said upon his retirement, he will be moving into a rectory at one of the parishes.
You can read his full statement below:
“When I began plans to retire, and considered where I would live, I had wanted to remain in the Diocese of San Jose. This has been my home for nearly 20 years. At first, I had hoped to live in a diocesan-owned house that is located on cemetery property, but necessary retrofitting proved to be too costly.
This made it necessary to look for another house. The Diocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors approved the purchase of the home in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose. I agreed with them that in economic terms the purchase of the home made sense in terms of financial return on investment. It was bought primarily with funds that had been designated for this sole purpose, funds that had accrued from the sale of Bishop DuMaine’s condominium, when he was no longer able to live in it due to failing health.
However, I erred in judgment in the purchase of a 5-bedroom home for $2.3 million. 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.
I have heard from many on this topic and I have decided that I will not move into this house. The Diocese will put it up for sale as soon as possible; if there is any profit to the Diocese from that sale, those funds will be donated to Charities Housing, a division of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.
I assume full responsibility for this decision and I believe that the sale of the house is the appropriate action. I thank those who have advised me.
When I retire, I now intent to live in a rectory at one of our parishes.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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