The archbishop of Atlanta offended a lot of his parishioners when he used donated funds to build himself a $2.2 million dollar, 6,000-square-foot mansion. Writing for the Times, Michael Paulson connects the Atlanta incident to a broader sea change led by the Pope, who has called for a “a church which is poor and for the poor,” and says it breaks his heart when he sees priests driving around in brand new cars.
Nevertheless, this article about the revived role of the Vatican Almoner is kind of the best (and the book is short but fascinating if you love Flannery O’Connor!).
The Vatican Almoner, if you aren’t familiar (and…who is?), is a role that originated in the 13th Century, one that traditionally involves giving “one-on-one doses of emergency assistance to the poor, sick and aged.” Until recently the job was more of a formality given to pre-retirement diplomats, but Pope Francis has ramped up the position and hired the young-ish, trusted Archbishop Konrad Krajewski as his one-man almsgiver.