It currently has five bedrooms, an elevator, a three-car garage, and a large ameba-shaped swimming pool. It is located on 8.2 acres in one of New Jersey’s more expensive and peaceful corners in Hunterdon County. The house and property was purchased for the Archbishop as a weekend retreat in 2002 for $700,000, and is now valued at $800,000.
The new wing of the house will have an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, library, three fireplaces, another elevator, and a “gallery” to provide a panoramic view of the grounds below.
The 3,000 square foot addition, costing over $500,000, will bring the total area of the residence to 7,400 square feet, and the total value to at least $1.3 million. Renovations do not include architect’s fees, furnishings or landscaping. They are extra.
28% of Newark’s population lives below the poverty level. The archdiocese has closed over 60 schools since 2002, due to declining enrollment and lack of money to operate them.
“The planned construction is being paid for by donations from individuals specifically given for this purpose,” stated the message on the archdiocese website, “and through the sale of properties that the Archdiocese owns but does not need.”
Obviously, the closed Catholic schools.
Jim Goodness, the spokesman for the Archdiocese, had the thankless job of trying to justify the expenditures to a furious public. He said the home extension was necessary to accommodate the bishop’s post-retirement wok, including expected frequent visits from priests, staff and other guests.
“The press said it’s a hot tub, it’s a whirlpool,” Goodness clarified. “He’s getting older–there are therapeutic issues.”
Parishioner Thomas Fitzgerald observed: “According to LifeSiteNews.com (an ultra conversation Catholic news site) on September 27, 2012, Archbishop Myers explains he is Biblically bound to preach the truth ‘in season and out of season’ and advises all the faithful to do likewise. ‘Woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel,” he cited. Evidently this was overheard from the whir of the hot tub.”
“How did this man become a bishop?” asked Mary Healey.