German ‘bishop of bling’ Resigns Over Spending Scandal

The Vatican did not elaborate further on the bishop's future
The Vatican did not elaborate further on the bishop’s future

Pope Francis has formally accepted the resignation of a senior German Church leader suspended over his alleged lavish spending.

The Vatican made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday.

Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has been accused of spending more than 31m euros (£26m) on renovating his official residence.

The cleric, dubbed the “bishop of bling” by the media, offered to resign when the scandal broke last October.

In response, Pope Francis temporarily suspended Bishop Tebartz-van Elst and instructed a Church commission to investigate the matter.

Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his disapproval of senior clerics whose lifestyles seem too lavish.

On Wednesday, the Vatican said the inquiry found that the senior cleric could no longer exercise his ministry.

The Church called on the diocese of Limburg to accept the decision “with docility” and to work toward restoring a “climate of charity and reconciliation”.

The bishop's official residence in Limburg (L) has been described as luxurious
The bishop’s official residence in Limburg (L) has been described as luxurious

The Vatican did not further elaborate on the future of Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, but said he would get a new position “at the opportune time”.

Auxiliary Bishop Manfred Grothe has been appointed to run the Limburg diocese.

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst and his luxury lifestyle have become infamous in Germany, where many people pay a Church tax to the state. The tax raised 5.2bn euros for Catholics and 4.6bn euros for Protestants in 2012.

At the heart of the criticism was the refurbishment of the cleric’s official residence, originally set to cost 5.5m euros.

German media reported that the quarters were fitted with a 15,000-euro bath, a conference table for 25,000 euros and a private chapel worth 2.9m euros.

The bishop was also under fire for a first-class flight to India to visit the poor.

The story attracted heavy coverage and stoked controversy among Catholics.

It was in Germany that Martin Luther launched the Reformation five centuries ago in response to what he said were excesses and abuses within the Church.


3 thoughts on “German ‘bishop of bling’ Resigns Over Spending Scandal

  1. why would one travel first class on a mission to visit the poor ? just asking ?

  2. “first-class flight to India to visit the poor” sounds like anti-global warming campaigners flying private jets, presidential jets (including air force one) and driving cars with monster engines to attending a G8 meeting on global warming.

  3. Why is this headline news all over he world? Because the Catholic Church is hated just as Her Divine founder was. But who are the foremost enemies of the Church? The following excerpt, taken from the February 1936 edition of The Catholic Gazette provides us with answers.

    “We have blackened the Catholic Church with the most ignominious calumnies, we hive stained her history and disgraced even her noblest activities. We have imputed to her the wrongs of her enemies, and have thus brought these latter to stand more closely by our side . . . So much so that we are now witnessing, to our greatest satisfaction, rebellions against the Church in several countries . . . We have turned her Clergy into objects of hatred and ridicule, we have subjected them to the contempt of the crowd….We have caused the practice of the Catholic Religion to be considered out of date and a mere waste of time …”And the Gentiles, in their stupidity, have proved easier dupes than we expected them to be. One would expect more intelligence and more practical common sense, but they are no better than a herd of sheep. Let them graze in our fields till they become fat enough to be worthy of being immolated to our future King of the world.

    We have founded many secret associations, which all work for our purpose, under our orders and our directions….Yet, it remains our secret that those Gentiles who betray their own and most precious interests, by joining us in our plot, should never know that those associations are of our creation, and that they serve our purpose… One of the many triumphs of our Freemasonry is that those Gentiles who become members of our lodges, should never suspect that we are using them to build their own jails, upon whose terraces we shall erect the throne of our Universal King of Israel;and should never know that we are commanding them to forge the chains of their own servility to our future King of the World. …”

    Catholics are especially encouraged to Google up and read the rest of this document so that they know why the things that we see happening today are, in fact, happening. I guarantee that you’ll not be the same again.

    We are against principalities and powers in high places, and Lucifer and his agents are already well entrenched inside the Church. They are now calling the shots, and if you are doubting, then please carefully read the above document and also note the strange, anti-catholic doctrines coming from the Vatican of late, especially the very top.

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