German ultra-conservative bishop stole millions from poor people

This video from Britain is called Robin Hood – Music and Lyrics.

According to legend, Robin Hood lived in the Middle Ages in England. He is said to have stolen from the rich to give to the poor.

Today, there lives an ultra-conservative Roman Catholic bishop in Limburg, Germany. He would like very much to go back in time to the Middle Ages (but, a Middle Ages without Robin Hood … God forbid). This bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-von Elst stole from the poor to give to the rich. Well, not to all rich … basically just one rich person: the Most Reverend Franz-Peter Tebartz-von Elst himself.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-von Elst. Photo: Associated Press

From South African news agency SAPA:

Bling bishop built lavish home using funds for poor

Monday 17 February 2014 – 2:27pm

MUNICH – Catholic bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-von Elst came under fire again Monday in connection with allegations of lavish spending on his new residence in Germany.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung citing an internal church report expected to be sent to Pope Francis on Wednesday claimed that “millions of euros” from a charitable church foundation were diverted and funneled into the construction project in Limburg, western Germany.

Costs for the bishop’s residence have come to more than 31 million euros (42 million dollars) -six times the initial estimated cost of construction.

Insiders told Sueddeutsche Zeitung costs could now spiral to up to 40 million euros.

According to the church report, the diverted funds – donations from Catholic workers – were originally earmarked to help poor families.

Tebartz-von Elst and his team reportedly developed an intricate system and put pressure on diocese employees to keep their elaborate plans for the bishop’s residence secret.

Tebartz-von Elst, referred to by the international press as the “bling bishop,” was suspended by the Vatican in October.

According to the church report cited by the newspaper, Tebartz-von Elst sees no need to tender his resignation and remains convinced of having made only relatively minor mistakes.

The 54-year-old was accused of giving false statements in two public affidavits about expensive flights he took to India to visit poor communities in 2012.

After Hamburg prosecutors agreed to a settlement payment of 20,000 euros (27,400 dollars), the case was put on hold in November and ultimately terminated in late December.

German prosecutors have since closed their court case against Tebartz-von Elst.

The cleric has been living in a cloister in southern Bavaria. It remains unclear whether he will return to his diocese in the state of Hesse.

USA: Church So Poor It’s Closing Schools, So Rich It Builds a Palace: here.

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18 thoughts on “German ultra-conservative bishop stole millions from poor people

  1. this story seems to be a bit unfair. if one reads more of the context, the problem was not about money, but about his ‘conservative’ religious views.
    the liberal Catholics in his country have spent alot more on alot less…. what is really going on is that he tried to impliment a religious reform and the entrenched powers found a way of pushing him out.


    • Oh yes, the problem was really about money. About tens of millions of euros meant to be for poor people, but which “Bishop bling” used for his own palace.

      What was this bishop’s “religious reform”? His homophobia? Or that he was one of three bishops in Germany who refused to give information on sexual abuse of children by priests?

      Are you suggesting that Pope Francis was very wrong and very unjust to suspend “Bishop bling” for this?


      • That it’s bitter apostates and heretics like you who say nothing about leftists who do much worse, but happen to crucify this guy because he’s not a whackjob, depraved leftist like you guys.


        • Which “leftists” do you mean, please? Pope Francis I?

          Your word “crucify” suggests that Bishop Bling is Christ-like. While, in reality, a Church inquiry has found out he stole tens of millions intended for poor people for his own palace. And why did Bishop Bling cover up sexual abuse of children?


        • How can you explain a bishop having to take care of the poor and sharing the love and word of God, building a ‘palace’. Where did he get the money from and why did he not use it properly to help spreading the Word of God and helping those in need, certainly of the region Limburg (Germany/Belgium/Holland), where much shortage of work and financial trouble for many family is daily reality.


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  3. From the USA:

    SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) — The archbishop of Atlanta says he has decided to sell his $2.2 million residence following a storm of criticism from parishioners.

    Archbishop Wilton Gregory said Saturday that he will leave the Tudor-style residence in the exclusive Buckhead neighborhood in early May.

    The church leader earlier this week apologized for building the mansion. He announced his decision after meeting Saturday with clergy and lay people from within his archdiocese.

    Local Catholics have faulted Gregory for the opulent spending, citing the example of austerity set by Pope Francis.

    Gregory moved into the residence in January after selling his old home to Christ The King Cathedral for $1.9 million. The cathedral plans to move its priests into the archbishop’s former residence, freeing up space on its campus.


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  5. VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis denounced corrupt politicians, businessmen and priests for the second day in a row today, scaling up his criticisms as prosecutors crack down on a series of bribery scandals afflicting several major public projects in Italy.

    Francis said the poor are hurt most by such crimes since they suffer when hospitals don’t have affordable medicines or schools have insufficient materials.

    “The corrupt politician, the corrupt businessman, the corrupt priest — all three hurt the innocents, the poor, because it’s the poor who pay for the parties of the corrupt,” he said.


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