According to tomorrow's Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is ready to downsize his dwelling-place. The paper reports that in a move driven by the anticipated closing of numerous Catholic schools and parishes, Chaput will place the 16-room stone mansion near Philadelphia's Main Line on the selling block. Chaput, a Franciscan, took a vow of poverty at ordination and made a similar move when installed as Denver's archbishop in 1999, choosing to move into the seminary.
Chaput's current home, known as the Cardinal's Residence, is but a stone's throw from St. Charles Seminary. While the seminary is certainly not low-income housing, situated on a bucolic setting that is a stark contrast to many of the urban parishes to which its future priests will be assigned, it might still be more palatable to the parishioners who will see their schools and/or churches close in the coming year.
The cathedral rectory in Center City Philadelphia is another possible residence where the archbishop may decide to hang up his hat. This would put Chaput not only among his priests but among his flock as well.
I have an idea of my own of what Archbishop Chaput could do for digs and it's a selfish one - he can spend a week or so at a time at every rectory in the diocese. While this is certainly not a practical or realistic expectation, it would, nonetheless, allow Chaput to see first-hand what we have to endure in this diocese with priests insistent on celebrating the sacred liturgy according to their own "rubrics". My blood is still boiling from the priest this week who skipped the Gloria because he doesn't like having to read the prayers, skipped most of the martyrs in the Roman Canon (why even bother using it) and stuffed a purificator in the chalice rather than purify it with water and thoroughly dry it after Holy Communion. It would be hard to refuse direct correction from your superior bishop, wouldn't it? And let me not forget the otherwise obedient priest who insists on breaking the host during the words of the consecration.