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Atlanta archbishop heeds Pope Francis' call for simple living, apologizes for $2.2M mansion

  • Archbishop Mansion.JPEG

    In this March 31, 2014 photo, the former residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory sits under construction to be used as a rectory for six priests after Gregory moved to a nearby $2.2 million mansion for his own use in Atlanta. Gregory apologized for his spending and offered to put the home up for sale after Pope Francis permanently removed a German bishop for his lavish spending on a renovation project. (AP Photo/David Goldman)The Associated Press

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    In this March 31, 2014, photo the new $2.2 million mansion that is the residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory stands in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood in Atlanta. Gregory apologized for his spending and offered to put the home up for sale after Pope Francis permanently removed a German bishop for his lavish spending on a renovation project. (AP Photo/David Goldman)The Associated Press

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Atlanta seems to have gotten the pope's message about living modestly.

Just days ago, Pope Francis removed a German bishop for his lavish spending on a new residence. Now, Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory has bowed to criticism from local Catholics and apologized for buying a $2.2 million mansion for his own use.

Gregory offered to sell the spacious home, if that is what local church representatives want. The archbishop says he failed to consider the project's cost on his own "integrity and pastoral credibility."

Bishops can expect more scrutiny on their lifestyles. Church leaders realized the coming challenge as soon as Francis took a Vatican bus, instead of the traditional papal sedan and security detail, back to his hotel after he was elected.

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