The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will try to unload its massive vacation home on the Ventnor, N.J., beachfront, assessed at $6.2 million, at a Sept. 15 auction, church and real estate officials said Monday.
“They really want to get it sold,” said Bob Dann of Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., who is handling the listing of the 19-room Villa St. Joseph by the Sea.
The house, on a block-long property that runs 175 feet along the Boardwalk from Princeton to Portland Avenues, was used until this summer as a getaway for retired priests and high-ranking archdiocese officials.
The archdiocese’s urgent need to address its $17 million deficit and mounting legal bills, including $11 million from the latest grand jury investigation into clergy sex-abuse and criminal prosecution of Msgr. William J. Lynn, was underscored Monday by the announcement that two other church properties also would be put up for sale.
In a newsletter to church members this spring, Chaput said the archdiocese had spent $11 million on legal fees and other costs related to the latest grand jury investigation into clergy sex-abuse and criminal prosecution of Lynn, the former aide to Bevilacqua. Nearly a dozen lawsuits from alleged abuse victims are pending against the archdiocese, and more are expected. All seek damages.