By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/26/2014 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Vatican has permanently removed a controversial bishop from his diocese, bringing an end to the career of the infamous "Bishop of Bling" who spent millions of euros on his private residence.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has been permanently removed from his chair as Bishop of Limberg. The Bishop, often referred to as the "Bishop of Bling" because of his extravagant tastes, was temporarily removed last October after Pope Francis became aware of his extravagance.
The Bishop reportedly spent €31 million on his private residence including a €15,000 bathtub and a €25,000 conference table. His private chapel was built at a cost of 2.9 million euros.
Concerned Catholics called for a review of his expenditures and a Vatican investigation recently concluded. Although the details of that investigation are still private, it is logical to assume that the Bishop was guilty, at least to some degree, of failing in his ministry.
Terbartz-van Elst admitted as much in a statement where he has apologized for any "carelessness or misjudgment on my part." He has formerly denied any wrongdoing.
Pope Francis clearly wasn't happy with Terbartz-van Elst, because when he called him to the Vatican in October, he made the Bishop wait for 8 days before he even acknowledged his arrival. After that, Pope Francis met with Terbartz-van Elst who subsequently entered a monastery within the Vatican.
For now, it appears the situation has ended. A temporary appointment has been in place since October and a new bishop will have to be chosen. As for Terbartz-van Elst, Vatican officials have confirmed that he will retain his title as bishop, but he will not occupy the same office. Instead, a new role for him will be found within the Church, preferably a role that minimizes attention.
It is expected that he will return to Germany. In spite of that, we feel he should perhaps be tasked with accompanying the Vatican almoner onto the nighttime streets of Rome where he should give away any personal fortune he has accumulated.
The question remains unasked: how much has the Bishop of Bling set aside for himself in a private fund?
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