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During Jesus’s ministry, it seems he had no home, no land, and no steady income. In Matthew 19:24, the ostensible son of God tells his disciples that

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

In Luke 12:15, he cautions,

“Be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

In Matthew 10:8, it’s

“You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.”

There’s also the wonderfully straightforward Luke 12:33:

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.”

The Greek Orthodox Church of Australia must use a Bible with all those verses excised. How else to explain this?

Archbishop Makarios

It’s an unlikely home for a man of God who has taken a vow of poverty, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia. But a luxury Sydney apartment, with stunning views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Opera House, a concierge and a heated indoor pool, is the new residence of the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia. …

Property records confirm the 3-bedroom apartment was purchased for $6.5 million by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Consolidated Trust shortly before Christmas.

That’s about 4.5 million U.S. dollars.

The [condo] fees for the apartment, which features a concierge, are an eye-watering $5,600 a quarter, or over $20,000 a year [$15,000 U.S.].

Designed by renowned architect Ercole Palazzetti, the Archbishop’s apartment takes up the entire floor “bathed in natural sunlight” according to the real estate agent who sold the property and capturing a “dual aspect, breathtaking and iconic views of Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge, Barangaroo, Darling Harbor and the City Skyline.”

Featuring a gourmet kitchen with granite benchtops and Gaggenau appliances, a lavish master suite, extensive built-in wardrobes and luxurious bathroom, it also include two further double bedrooms, separate marble bathroom, laundry room, a heated indoor pool and fully equipped gymnasium and parking for two cars.

The Honorary Secretary & Trustee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Consolidated Trust, Nicholas G. Pappas, told that the apartment was purchased by the Trust as an official residence for the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia. … The Trust is a charity, ensuring that the Greek Greek Orthodox Church secures GST concessions, fringe benefit tax rebates and income tax exemptions.

Similar financial advantages accrue to the Church of England (splendiferous top clergy homes here: 1, 2, 3); the Catholic Church (check out this bishop’s crib, and this one); and the Russian Orthodox Church (for instance, the residence of Patriarch Kirill is an enormous imperial mansion that the state just spent more than $40 million renovating).

If Ascetic Jesus was real and he actually did come back, I’d be very interested in what he’d say to these representatives of his, whose thriftiness and self-sacrifice are commensurate with their willingness to live by one of the core messages that their savior never tired of imparting.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

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