Pope culls 'bling bishop'

Last updated 07:27 27/03/2014
Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst
Reuters
BLING BISHOP: Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.
Pope Francis
Reuters
FRUGAL: Pope Francis isn't a fan of luxury lifestyles.

Relevant offers

Americas

Mysterious disappearance of Colorado mother, two sons leads to 'horrific ending' Grieving Brazilian town receives bodies of football plane crash victims China lodges protest after Trump call with Taiwan president The Mall of America's first black Santa: 'Santa comes in many different colours' Nasa deputy administrator visits Buzz Aldrin in Christchurch hospital Woman strings up 10k rainbow lights to send message to bigoted neighbour Donald Trump speaks with Taiwan's president, risking China tensions Teenager Brandy Vela kills herself in front of family after 'relentless' bullying Donald Trump has ushered in a world without facts, and that's scarier than you think Colombia crash survivor Helio Neto will play soccer again, father says

Pope Francis has permanently removed a German bishop from his Limburg diocese after his 31 million-euro (NZ$50 million) new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful.

Francis had temporarily expelled Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from Limburg in October pending a church inquiry.

At the centre of the controversy was the price tag for the construction of a new bishop's residence complex and related renovations. Tebartz-van Elst defended the expenditures, saying the bill was actually for 10 projects and there were additional costs because the buildings were under historical protection.

But in a country where Martin Luther launched the Reformation five centuries ago in response to what he said were excesses and abuses within the church, the outcry was enormous. The perceived lack of financial transparency also struck a chord since a church tax in Germany brings in billions a year to the German church.

The Vatican said on Wednesday that the inquiry into the renovation found that Tebartz-van Elst could no longer exercise his ministry in Limburg and that Francis had accepted his resignation, which was originally offered on October 20.

The Vatican said Monsignor Manfred Grothe, currently an auxiliary bishop in Paderborn, would take over but that Tebartz-van Elst would get a new job "at the opportune time".

It added that the pope hoped that the faithful of Limburg would accept the decision with "docility and willingness to rediscover a climate of charity and reconciliation".

In Berlin, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the head of the German Bishops' Conference, told reporters he would do whatever he could to help the Limburg dioceses move on.

"For that we will need reconciliation, new trust and the power of prayer," he said.

Francis has called on his priests and bishops to be models of sobriety in a church that "is poor and is for the poor".

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content