San Jose diocese criticized for purchasing $2.3M home for retiring bishop

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
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The San Jose Catholic Diocese is being criticized for purchasing a $2.3 million home for its retiring bishop.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The San Jose Catholic Diocese is being criticized for purchasing a $2.3 million home for its retiring bishop. Real estate is expensive in the Willow Glen neighborhood, but some say the church could have purchased a smaller, more modest home.

Out of respect for the privacy of Bishop Patrick McGrath, we won't show you the exterior of the home purchased by the San Jose Catholic Diocese. We can, though, show you a few pictures of the inside that were publicly listed when the home went up for sale.

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It's a 3,200-square-foot home with five bedrooms, a spa-like marble bathroom, and a grand-sized chef's kitchen.

Mike Murphy is a real estate agent with Sereno Group. "No, it's certainly not uncommon to see in this area. It's known as a sought-after location, therefore people will pay to get into this location, explained Murphy.

Everyone acknowledges prices are steep here, but some church-goers say buying a 5-bedroom homes goes against the teachings of Pope Francis, known for his humility and concern for the poor."

While he addresses the public from the third floor of the papal apartments, the Pope refuses to live there, preferring a more modest guest house within the Vatican. And he still wears inexpensive black leather shoes.

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"If they are going to use this house for other purposes other than a personal home for him, but otherwise that doesn't seem too Christ-like, a bishop doesn't need a $2.3 million home for his retirement," said San Jose resident Jacob Ruiz.

The money to purchase the house came from a special fund earmarked for housing and from the sale of a Menlo Park condo which was used by the previous bishop.

"He's been in San Jose for a long time and apparently he wants to stick around and help out," said Monica Van Hoomissen, also a Willow Glen resident.

We made several attempts to contact the diocese of San Jose. They did not respond. The Diocese is responsible for paying for a bishop's accommodations after he retires.