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‘Luxury bishop’ ordered to leave German diocese – RTÉ News

October 23, 2013

Pope Francis has ordered the German Roman Catholic prelate known as the “luxury bishop” for spending around €31 million on a residence to leave his diocese for an unspecified period.

The move, just short of a resignation, was taken against Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg.

It comes two days after he met the pope to discuss the scandal in the German church at a time when the pontiff is stressing the importance of humility and serving the poor.

The renovation costs went from an initial €5m to over €30m, with an additional €10m also likely due because of damage to surrounding streets and structures caused by the construction work.

A Vatican statement said the bishop “was currently not in a position to carry out his episcopal ministry” and that he was ordered to leave the diocese while an investigation and audit into cost over-runs is held.

The diocese will be administered in the bishop’s absence by a vicar.

The pope has called for a more austere Church and has told bishops not to live “like princes”.

German media, citing official documents, said the residence had been fitted with a free-standing bath that cost €15,000, a conference table that cost €25,000 and a private chapel that cost €2.9m.

‘Luxury bishop’ ordered to leave German diocese – RTÉ News.

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