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This Is the Luxury Home Former Bishop Farrell Occupied During His Time in Dallas September 18, 2019

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, rank stupidity, scandals, sexual depravity, sickness.

This actually came out in 2014, but I missed it until just recently.  An “anonymous donor” (perhaps a certain former cardinal, or an ally of his?) mysteriously gifted this luxury home to now Cardinal Farrell just immediately as he arrived in Dallas, and the home was sold instantly upon his departure.  No other occupant of the episcopal see of Dallas has ever lived in such lavish circumstances, to my knowledge.  Ostensibly, this home was to allow Farrell to entertain the great and the rich, to pull donations from them.  Somehow both his predecessor and successor managed to entertain potential donors without recourse to such luxurious surroundings.  There is absolutely no concrete evidence that this home was associated with any particular donations. There were occasional, frankly unbelievable, statements from Farrell that he really just wanted to have a poor little apartment, but was just forced, forced, you see, by the hard life of being a bishop to live in such ostentatious circumstances, and this in a diocese that was then, and remains – or so we are told – essentially existing in penury.

I frankly find it preposterous, and even insulting, this claim that soliciting donations made such a home absolutely necessary.  As if donors would not donate if not entertained in extremely comfortable surroundings?  Please.  This was for Farrell, who has made personal comfot a focal point in his episcopal career, from his days in the corrupt and decadent Legionaires of Christ to his cardinalate in Rome, where he was the recipient of nearly $30,000 from the corrupt and fallen Bishop Bransfield of West Virginia to to help pay for his living expenses in Rome. Apparently, the extravagance Farrell lavished on himself in terms of living arrangements was not limited to Dallas.  After the scandal broke about this sodomite, drug-addicted Bishop Bransfield (another creature of the Washington, DC circle of graft, immorality, and self-pleasing surrounding McCarrick, Wuerl, and, yes, Kevin J. Farrell), Farrell ostensibly returned the money, but why would bishops be in the habit of personally gifting each other tens of thousands of dollars? One of Farrell’s defenses in this case was that this kind of thing goes on all the time, and is no big deal.

Below, Farrell’s 6100 square foot home in a very expensive section of North Dallas.  Bought for $1.2 million in 2007, today it is worth north of $2 million.  Taxes alone on this property would be in the vicinity of $30,000 a year.  It had over 1000 square feet of garage and occupied nearly half an acre of extremely expensive land.

You can decide why a supposedly celibate priest would need to live in such circumstances.  If those walls could talk, eh?

I’m sure they’d tell a tale of superior virtue and rigid self-denial, right?  I kid.  But just on a purely human level, this is an exceedingly poor look for a Catholic bishop, and practically invites scandal.  Especially in a diocese that was supposedly flat busted, monetarily, from the Rudy Kos payout.  Yes, yes, anonymous donor, yes, supposedly Farrell raised money at this house (impossible to prove, of course), but our bishops are supposed to be our guides in all aspects of the Faith, and set a personal example for all us.  Saintly bishops produce saintly laity.  And vice versa.


1. Dennis Hogan - September 18, 2019

It must have been funded from the profits of his ice cream parlor franchise. [Frankly Jesus would disown many of the bishops today based on their lifestyle or lack of integrity.]

2. Camper - September 19, 2019

I’m not one to defend Farrell, but is this really that luxurious? It isn’t a cheap place, but the bishop probably will need to live somewhere near Oak Lawn. He’s a bishop of a large diocese. Attack him for something else.

Tantumblogo - September 20, 2019

6100 square feet is enormous. For a single person. Given that neither his predecessor or successor felt the need for such a home, and given the ostensible claim for it, I’m kind of surprised at the defenses of it, especially in a diocese that we were told then, and are told now, is in dire financial straits. I know priests in the diocese were quite discomfited with this living arrangement.

Comparing this home to a medieval or baroque palace is really apples and oranges. The situation of the Church is utterly, radically changed. And those palaces were then, and have remained, part of the Church’s patrimony. There is no such situation with this house, which as many have noted is frankly pretty mundane for its location. It wasn’t for the Church, it wasn’t for the fundraising, it was purchased so Bishop Farrell could do what he and his ilk do away from prying eyes.

And yes the implication is that this property was not purchased by a local, that’s why the diocese was always so cagey about who purchased it and why.

Camper - September 21, 2019

With all due respect, I’m not talking about a medieval or baroque palace. I’m talking about a modern cardinal’s palace, mansion, or residence. Have you ever been in one? In Farrell’s house in Dallas, there would probably have to have been quarters for household help, and that can add up. On the other hand, if 6100 square feet was to host… parties with, let’s say, extravagant and… unorthodox persons, then maybe somebody on here would condemn it. Just saying.

3. Baseballmomof8 - September 19, 2019

Wondering if it would be difficult to learn who the buyer was – if it was McCarrick or someone associated with him? Usually that is public record. That would be good information to have.

4. Camper - September 19, 2019

Really, this house is not that luxurious. $2 million is a lot of money, but he is the bishop of an important diocese. He could be an archbishop. Ever been to the palace of a cardinal? A visit to such a place makes this house in Dallas seem less strange.

Eclair - September 20, 2019

Agreed. To put things into a little more perspective, “starter homes” are routinely going for over $400k in some neighborhoods I’ve searched near my work. $2M is very expensive, but absolutely the standard going rate for ritzy Dallas neighborhoods these days. Honestly, my first thought on seeing a picture of the Bishop’s house was, really, that’s all you get for a couple million bucks?! It’s really not impressive. Clearly the dollar’s not worth what it used to be any more.

And I saw all this as someone who has very little love for Farrell.

Eclair - September 20, 2019


Camper - September 20, 2019

It was 6000 square feet, to be fair. That’s a lot of house. Maybe not too much for the Bishop of Dallas, but it’s a lot.

5. Daniel Muller - September 20, 2019

As a Dallas parishioner, I am not really scandalized. Yes, it is overly large, and no, I could never afford it, but oh, well. And the minimum for a house now is easily half a million anyway.

The weird buying and selling sounds like it really was just a Catholic donor, maybe the next-door neighbor, similar to the Ford dealer in San Antonio who used to lease a new sedan to the Archbishop every year. Why so jealous?

Bishops and parish priests who do not belong to orders do not take a vow of poverty. Jealous parishioners sure do hate that, but I do not see them providing vocations from their families. I had a Polish pastor — local production being vanishingly low — who brought back a C-series — you know, the sorry smallest ones that you can see in the U.S. — Mercedes back with him when he went to Poland and saved $$$. He eventually felt forced to sell it due to the many forked tongues among the parishioners.

And no, I am most definitely not a Farrell fan.

6. David - September 20, 2019

I recall Farrell’s time in Dallas, since I live here too. While there were things he did that I liked and others I wasn’t happy about, I do recall he seemed to travel a great deal with Committee assignments, etc., and IMHO I think he missed DC. Since he traveled frequently, I don’t think he needed a large residence, but then again, it was donated.

In contrast, other bishops live more modestly. Archbishop Chaput sold the mansion and lives in a Guest house on the grounds of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Several auxiliary bishops are seminary rectors and basically live in the residence hall (I believe Bishop Kelly, although he is not the seminary rector, has a similar quarters at Holy Trinity Seminary). When John Cardinal O’Connor was the Archbishop of New York City (I read a book about him that was written by a secular author in the late 1980s), he lived in a studio apartment (c.500 sq. ft.) that is constructed into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Being a retired Navy Chaplain, O’Connor was used to close quarters.

I don’t know where the current bishop resides, but I think the chancery has a residence similar to a studio apartment – an article I read about Bishop Grahmann said something like that when Grahmann was alive.

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8. Htown - September 21, 2019

When asked why he thought it necessary to live in such a luxurious dwelling, Bishop Farrell responded “I had no idea the house was worth $2 million. I was shocked and overwhelmed, I’d never heard any of this before. I had not the least inkling that I even lived there. And that’s all I have to say about that.”

Camper - September 21, 2019

If he really said that, it would confirm the reputation he has on this site.
Since the Diocese was supposed to be in such straits, and since somewhere in this article/comments somebody cited O’Connor in New York, who slept in a 500 sq ft flat in New York, 6100 sq ft does seem like quite a lot. The suspicious provenance of the money for the house also adds to the intrigue.

Htown - September 22, 2019

It was sarcasm. This is what he said in response to being asked how come he didn’t know McCarrick was abusing seminarians, despite being his house mate for years.

9. Dennis Hogan - September 21, 2019

Say what you will about Bishop Tschoepe, he lived in very modest quarters built within the old chancery on Lemmon Ave.
Farrell’s explanations don’t measure up. He ranks among the lucre- chasing high clergy who are embarrassing this Church.
His assignment to Dallas was intended to be a temporary stepping stone.

10. Dennis Hogan - September 21, 2019

Looks like a manse in Preston Hollow or maybe the Park Cities. Who did he really need to impress more– high dollar potential donors, influence peddlers and the like or members of his diocese?
I see the priorities of so many high churchmen (not all) as accumulating wealth, corporate climbing, name building, and avoiding the taint of scandal. That’s what motivates them.

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