Seattle Archdiocese criticised for buying $2.4 million home for archbishop

Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne will move from a parish rectory into a newly purchased $2.4 million home in an upscale waterfront neighbourhood.

Archdiocesan officials say the relocation is necessary to accommodate guests better, but the decision has also garnered criticism.

“The move is breaking a promise that the archbishop made to us in a pretty major way,” said Tim Law, a Seattle Catholic and attorney who is a member of Heal Our Church, a Washington-based alliance calling for a lay-led review of the Seattle Archdiocese’s private records on clergy abuse.

In 2019, on Etienne’s first day as head of the archdiocese, he told priests and deacons in a letter he would forgo the traditional archbishops’ residence — a 9,000-square-foot mansion named the Connolly House — and “live a more simplified life.

“While the Connolly House has been home to the archbishops since 1920, it will not be home for me,” wrote Etienne.

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