Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published March 26, 2014 at 6:08 AM | Page modified March 26, 2014 at 3:16 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (11)
  • Print

Pope replaces German 'bling bishop' after inquiry

Pope Francis on Wednesday permanently removed a German bishop from his Limburg diocese after his 31 million-euro ($43-million) new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful.


Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
One guy??? What are you kidding? Crack a history book and educate yourself about the... MORE
Another example of the stunning hubris of religious leaders and those projecting their ... MORE
"...in a church that is poor..." The Catholic Church is "poor"?... MORE

advertising

VATICAN CITY —

Pope Francis on Wednesday permanently removed a German bishop from his Limburg diocese after his 31 million-euro ($43-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 center 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 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 Oct. 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."

___

Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►