An archdiocese in New Jersey is building an expansive, palatial addition to a retirement home for its archbishop, two years after it shuttered a school due to a lack of funds.
Newark Archbishop John J. Myers has used a 4,500-square-foot home in Hunterdon County, N.J. as a weekend residence since 2002, according to the Star-Ledger.
Valued at $800,000, the home already boasts five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a three-car garage and an outdoor swimming pool. And now, thanks to a 3,000-square-foot addition, it’s about to get even bigger.
With the 72-year-old Myers nearing retirement, the Newark Archdiocese is financing a $500,000 expansion that will include an indoor exercise pool, three fireplaces and an elevator.
The expansion to the house comes at a time when Pope Francis has urged priests to avoid an extravagant lifestyle.
And as Michael Powell highlighted in a critical piece for the New York Times, the archdiocese closed Mater Dei Academy only two years ago due to a lack of funds.
A spokesman for the archdiocese told Powell that the press has gotten some of the details wrong, noting that the addition will include a whirlpool and not a hot tub.
Update: A spokesman for the archdiocese on Thursday refused to say whether the home is consistent with the pope’s recent directives.