A CATHOLIC DIOCESE has come in for criticism from its parishioners after purchasing a $2.3 million property for a retiring bishop.
73-year-old Bishop Patrick J. McGrath was all set to move into a lavish five-bedroom in Silicon Valley upon retirement.
However, the Bishop has now gone back on those plans after admitting he "erred in judgment" when he agreed to live in the luxury property.
"I failed to consider adequately the housing crisis in this valley and the struggles of so many families and communities in light of that crisis," McGrath said in a statement.
"I have heard from many on this topic and I have decided not to move into this house."
The property listing for the 3,269-square-foot property spoke of a "grand-sized chef's kitchen" and "spa-like marble bathroom" among other lavish features.
However, the plans did down well with some of the diocese's 640,000 members, who argued that it went against the church's mission of charity and serving the poor.
"It seems very inappropriate for this expenditure to be made on so many levels," one parishioner, who asked not to be named, told The Mercury News.
"Our diocese is greatly underfunded as it is."
The house was purchased with funds set aside to pay for housing retired bishops but will now be put up for sale as soon as possible.
Any profits will be donated to a local housing charity.
"I assume full responsibility for this decision and I believe that the sale of the house is the appropriate action," Bishop McGrath said.
The bishop will instead take up residence in a rectory located in one of the diocese's parishes.