As a Catholic, I was always disturbed that the bishops lived in a mansion on the Western Promenade. I am now even more disturbed to read that Bishop Richard Malone is now moving to a $599,000 home in a Falmouth subdivision. What is he thinking? How does it look to read that he is closing the Cathedral School after 145 years and then he purchases a fancy new home in Falmouth for himself?
It would seem to make more sense to move to an unused or under-used rectory in the Portland area. Shouldn't he live in the Cathedral rectory? When my wife and I were forced to downsize because of job losses, we moved to a 985-square- foot double-wide mobile home in Old Orchard Beach.
A few years ago, we signed onto a three-year capital campaign to upgrade our church and parish hall. Soon after we completed the project, the church was closed and torn down.
The bishop doesn't seem to be a good steward of our money. That is why we no longer contribute to the annual campaign for programs in the diocese.
Old Orchard Beach
Learning that Bishop Richard Malone will be moving from the Western Prom mansion to a home in Falmouth worth over half a million dollars doesn't sit well with many Catholics.
In a June 21 Portland Press Herald ar ticle by Dennis Hoey, Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese, was quoted as saying, "everyone, in this economy, wants to do practical things."
This is practical downsizing? It's like moving from the Taj Mahal to the Samoset Resort.
The Catholic Church faithful could have advised the diocese on what is practical and should h ave been consulted, given that the Church expects to financially support this move to yet another over-the-top home. Did they think we wouldn't notice?
We certainly have noticed the loss of parishes and priests, and the closing of Cathedral School, as well as the admonitions to step up our general financial support.
The Dioce se of Portland owns several properties with ample room for Bishop Malone in which he would have been adequately taken care of. The diocesan finance committee is charged with ensuring the financial soundness of the diocese, and is accountable for the use of resources for expenses authorized by Bishop Malone. It may be that Bishop Malone has underestimated just how much Catholics can swallow before it sticks in the craw.
Smart town and city managers know you should never underestimate public outrage. I don't choose to financially support the bishop's new living quarters. That decision will be reflected in what I place in the Sunday offering from now on .
My pleasure turned to pain and outrage as I read the article in the June 22 Press Herald ("Bishop giving up Portland mansion"). As I started reading it, I was really pleased that the Roman Catholic diocese realized that stockpiling money in a "mansion" just wasn't the thing to do in these days and times. But my feelings rapidly changed as I read that the diocese had bought a house in Falmouth for approximately $600,000. Quoting the spokesperson for the diocese, "We want to be good stewards of the money we have."
I am not Roman Catholic but rather Episcopalian. I run an essentials pantry that serves 300-plus Portland residents each Tuesday. I see close-up and personal the real, practical needs of recent immigrants, refugees and just people of all kinds who are suffering in this economy.
I fantasize about what even a fourth o f $600,000 could do to help so many.
As a Christian, I ask myself all the time, "What would Jesus do?" I truly don't feel he would write a check for $600,000 to house one man when the needs of many are just so obvious. I only know what I know about the local Catholic diocese by reading the paper, but might there be a vacant rectory or two sitting around that could possibly house one man?