Pope's teaching are nothing new

April 7, 2014 

Recently Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory said that Pope Francis "set the bar" for church leaders. Contrary to what may be popular belief, the one who "set the bar" was a humble Jewish prophet named Jesus who established the way his followers were to live. This is not new. It appears new because under previous popes, the sky was the limit on many of the hierarchy's self-indulgences.

I wouldn't expect a bishop in Belleville or Atlanta to live in a hovel, nor would I expect any of them to live in a mansion at the expense of church ministry. Pope Francis has repeatedly called his priests and bishops to live more frugally, but he's basically preaching what Jesus taught. This should have been learned in bishop school 101.

Gregory, when questioned about building a $2.2 million mansion, has now admitted that such an extravagance was inappropriate and has called into question his own pastoral integrity. He certainly now looks more sheepish than shepherd.

Mary Ann Himstedt

Fairview Heights

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