Protest over plans for Newark Archbishop's home expansion

NJ Burkett has the story from Newark.
April 13, 2014 3:28:49 PM PDT
Critics are turning up the pressure on the Archbishop of Newark, over his plans to spend half a million dollars of Archdiocese money to expand his weekend home.

More than 17,000 petition signatures protesting the plans were delivered to Newark's main cathedral Sunday.

The Archdiocese plans a 3,000 square foot expansion at the home in Hunterdon County. It includes an indoor pool. a hot tub, and three fireplaces.

It's all to get the home ready for Archbishop John Myers's retirement.

The Archdiocese has said donations and the sale of unnecessary properties are funding the expansion.

The petition calls on Myers to cancel the plan and dedicate church resources towards mission work for the poor.

The petition, which was organized by the online community Faithful America, reads: "Archbishop Myers, you don't need a 7,500-square-foot house for your retirement. Please start heeding Pope Francis's admonitions, and put being a good pastor for New Jersey Catholics ahead of building an opulent lifestyle for yourself."

The Mater Dei School in Kearny is just one of several Newark Archdiocesan schools closed in the last few years because the archdiocese didn't have enough money to keep them open.

A post on the Newark Archdiocesan website said, "The planned construction is being paid for by donations from individuals specifically given for this purpose and through the sale of residential properties that the diocese owns but does not need."

Archbishop Myers faces mandatory retirement in two years. He will then retire to the home in Pittstown. There are no plans to reopen the many closed schools in the Newark Archdiocese.