The Story Behind a Recent Magazine Article

October 25, 2007

A local magazine reported in its November 2007 issue that Archbishop Wuerl bought a $1.2 million “luxury home” in Gaithersburg.

Actually, St. John Neumann parish bought four acres of land adjacent to its church so the rectory and parish offices could be moved there. For many years, these buildings have been located several blocks away from the church because the church site was too small. The land where the rectory and offices are now is to be sold after the move.

How did this story come about?

As a corporation sole, the Archdiocese of Washington is organized and titled in the name of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington. On deeds and other land records, this technically reads “(Name of current Archbishop), Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, a corporation sole and his successors in office, in accordance with the rites and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church.” Depending on when property was acquired, it would include the name of Cardinal O’Boyle, Cardinal Baum, Cardinal Hickey, Cardinal McCarrick or Archbishop Wuerl. Unfortunately, the full legal title is too long for local area jurisdictions to record in their property and tax databases and so they just record the first and last name of the Archbishop.

Archbishop Wuerl resides in an apartment adjacent to a parish in Washington, DC, just as his predecessor did when he was archbishop.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]