This video says about itself:
German Bishop Lives in 31 Million Euro Residence
9 Oct 2013
A German bishop under fire over his lavish lifestyle faced pressure to resign on Wednesday (October 9) after his diocese announced his new residence would cost 31 million euros – more than six times the amount originally planned.
Criticism of the spending habits of Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst prompted a rare review by a Vatican monitor last month, after which the 53-year-old German agreed to let an outside commission audit his finances.
The soaring cost of the bishop’s residence – an ensemble of buildings adjacent to the cathedral including a private chapel – puts the bishop radically out of step with Pope Francis‘s stress on simplicity and poverty and has split the diocese.
“As a Catholic, it is something that completely doesn’t fit with the times today, such a prestige project that the church pushes through. The function of the church and the pope is now of humility and setting an example and nothing else, and this doesn’t belong to it any more – we’re not in the Middle Ages any more,” said Raimund Champert, a local Catholic.
“It’s actually shameless what’s going on,” said his wife, Roswitha Champert. “I may be a Catholic but I don’t agree with it at all.”
The leader of Frankfurt’s Catholic community centre, who was let go by Tebartz-van Elst, is now running a campaign calling for his resignation.
“With this campaign, we want to give believers the opportunity to contact the bishop and to tell him what they think about it, and to invite his resignation. Because it’s enough now – 31 million, with that he’s crossed a red line and we’re calling for his resignation,” said Patrick Dehm, standing outside Limburg cathedral.
The visit by the Vatican monitor, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, marked a new Vatican willingness to correct mismanagement by bishops, who Pope Francis has said should not be careerists but shepherds with the “smell of their sheep.”
Mismanagement by bishops and the Vatican‘s slow response were at the root of sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church around the world for more than a decade. There are no sexual abuse allegations in this case.
Two archbishops in Slovenia and one in Cameroon have resigned because of financial scandals since Francis was elected pope in March.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
Bishop’s scandal drives away Roman Catholic church members
Added: Thursday, 7 Nov 2013, 13:36
The Roman Catholic Church in Germany has a large number of people unsubscribing, as a result of the affair with Bishop Tebartz-Van Elst of the German diocese of Limburg.
In October in Munich, Cologne, Bremen, Trier and other cities twice as many Catholics asked to be deregistered then happens normally during a month.
The evangelical church also had a significant decrease in the number of members.
Bishop Tebartz was suspended last month by Pope Francis, after an out of hand renovation of his official residence. Tebartz because of that is called the luxury bishop or bling bishop.
From weekly Der Spiegel in Germany:
November 18, 2013 – 04:44 PM
Proceedings against Germany’s controversial bishop of Limburg were dropped on Monday after a settlement was reached. The embattled Catholic cleric, who has come under fire for his lavish lifestyle, was accused of making false statements in court documents.
Hamburg prosecutors have dropped their case against Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the bishop of Limburg, agreeing to a settlement payment of €20,000 on Monday.
- Pope banishes Germany’s “luxury bishop” from his diocese (stabroeknews.com)
- Pope Puts Bishop on Leave Over $43 Million Residence (bloomberg.com)
- The luxury bishop of Limburg: Free-spending German cleric summoned to Vatican (konknaijamedia.com)
- Ouster of ‘Bishop of Bling’ puts heat on wealthy German Catholic Church (csmonitor.com)
- Bishop of Bling suspended (lunaticoutpost.com)
- Vatican Suspends German Bishop Known for Spending – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Catholics incensed as German bishop of Limburg builds palace fit for a pope (theguardian.com)
Where do his parisheners live?
From the Irish Times:
Tebartz-van Elst, appointed by [previous pope] Benedict allegedly to combat “progressive” tendencies in the German church, once had very good connections in Rome.
Catholics in Limburg are outraged – especially given that funds are tight or insufficient across the diocese. There isn’t enough money for the upkeep of churches, and parishes are being consolidated. What’s more, funding for Catholic day care centres is being slashed. All of this is part of the bishop’s tough cost-cutting measures.
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Maybe they should use the money to feed starving children.
I wonder if they ever even think about things like that.
Some clergy do think about that. However, this bishop, apparently given his job by Pope Benedict to stop “progressive tendencies” within the church, and others do not.
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