Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/25/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Extravagant clerics in Germany now under scrutiny by Francis

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, denounced by some as "Bishop Bling-Bling" for his extravagant lifestyle has now been officially suspended by Pope Francis. Part of the the 52-year-old bishop's lavish lifestyle included a $20,000 bathtub and $482,000 walk-in closets. The bishop of Limburg has scandalized the German people - and now other clerics in that country are under intense scrutiny by Pope Francis.

Tebartz-van Elst is just the latest German clergyman to curry disfavor since Pope Francis took the helm of the church.

Tebartz-van Elst is just the latest German clergyman to curry disfavor since Pope Francis took the helm of the church.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/25/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Bishop Bling Bling, austerity, pope, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The most-unpriestly lifestyle of the bishop is reported to be "just the tip of the iceberg." Tebartz-van Elst is just the latest German clergyman to curry disfavor since Pope Francis took the helm of the church. Francis temporarily suspended the bishop while a church commission investigates the expenditures on the $42 million residence complex.

German dioceses, which reportedly include the world's wealthiest in Cologne, are being stifled under Francis' new direction as membership numbers continue to dwindle.

"Tebartz-van Elst is just the tip of the iceberg," Christian Weisner, spokesman for the German branch of We Are Church says. The organization advocates reformation within the Catholic church. "There is a real clash of cultures between Germany's current cardinals and bishops -- nominated under John Paul II or Benedict XVI -- and Pope Francis."

Pope Francis has repeatedly urged the church to strip itself of all "vanity, arrogance and pride." He has commanded the church to serve society's poorest. Priests living in luxury are no longer merely unseemly, but to Francis - scandalous.

Setting an example by driving around Vatican City in a 30-year-old white Renault clunker gifted by an Italian priest, the head of the German bishops' conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, balked at the idea of giving up his company car, a BMW 740d.

"To me that car is not a status symbol; it is the office I use when I am traveling," Zollitsch said at a press event earlier this month.

Most of the church's top officials in Germany drive high-powered Mercedes, BMWs or Audis.

Carsten Frerk, who specializes on church finances in Germany, said German bishops' reluctance to follow Francis' new course is no surprise.

"The German Catholic Church is one of the country's wealthiest and largest organizations and its top officials expect a certain lifestyle," Frerk says. Having published two books on the German churches' wealth and what he describes as their "opaque" financing, Frerk adds "But they are wary of the extent of their wealth becoming broadly known because it might lead to fewer donations."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Europe

Dormitory for Rome's homeless men, 'Gift of Mercy,' established by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Residents in the new

By Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis and his brother Jesuits in Rome have converted an old travel agency building into a new homeless shelter for men, just in time for the cold winter months. Vatican City (CNA) - The new dormitory is called "Gift of Mercy," because mercy is "love's ... continue reading

'Exorcism' and witchcraft child abuse on the rise in Britain Watch

Image of


The number of child abuse cases involving "exorcisms" and witchcraft are on the rise, according to a recent report from the Metropolitan Police in the UK. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - BBC reported about half of police forces do not record cases of ... continue reading

Malaysian Airlines MH17 determined hit by Russian 'warhead' killing all 298 passengers Watch

Image of Debris from MH17's unforgettable crash last year.


Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 disappeared from radar on July 17, 2014 after travelling over the conflict-hit region in Ukraine, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian passenger jet crashed close to the border with Russia, killing all 298 passengers. ... continue reading

Pope Francis warns against conspiracy theories at the synod Watch

Image of Pope Francis warns bishops about the conspiracy theories revolving around the upcoming synod.


At a global Church meeting, Pope Francis warned bishops against conspiracy theories that have been circulating to an attempt to manipulate the synod. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed the authenticity of reports claiming ... continue reading

Goodwill not welcomed everywhere as German TV show depicts 'Muslim Merkel' image Watch

Image of The producers of the show defended the image.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming of Middle Eastern refugees is not being wholly embraced in her homeland. Complaints have risen about the sudden influx of Muslim immigrants in this largely catholic nation. ARD television broadcasted a mocked-up ... continue reading

CHURCH SHOCKER: Gay and pedophile priests sent to monastery for 'sex cures' Watch

Image of In the wake of recent sex scandals, it has been discovered that the Vatican sends priests

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the wake of recent sex scandals, it has been discovered that the Vatican sends priests "with inappropriate sexual tendencies" to a special monastery in the Alps for a purported cure. It has been learned that homosexual, pedophile and drug addicted clergy ... continue reading

Anti-Semitic violence runs rampant through Europe Watch

Image of


A top European Union official has warned of increasing anti-Semitism in Europe, as there are mounting threats and attacks against Jews in Europe's member countries.  BRUSSELS, EUROPE (Catholic Online) - The Vice President of the European Commission, Frans ... continue reading

Is ancient Greek tomb for Alexander the Great's friend Hephaestion? Debate continues Watch

Image of After his death in 325 B.C., Alexander the Great reportedly ordered that shrines be constructed throughout the empire. Hephaestion died less than a year before the Macedonian leader.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologist Katerina Peristeri declared that the mysterious Amphipolis monument is a tomb to Hephaestion, Alexander the Great's best friend who died less than a year before Alexander did.Fragmentary inscriptions link the monument to Hephaestion. Other archaeologists ... continue reading

10,000 copies of Germany's constitution was printed in Arabic to help nearly 800,000 migrants integrate Watch

Image of


Germany translated the first 20 articles of its constitution, which concerns basic rights such as freedom of speech, into Arabic for refugees to learn in an attempt to help immigrants integrate. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the moment, Germany struggles to ... continue reading

Segregation of Jewish and Muslim pupils in a French school echoes chilling Nazi segregation Watch

Image of


Jewish and Muslim students at the Piedallous primary school in Auxere, Burgundy were ordered to wear disks around their necks. The incident brought with it memories of Nazi segregation and caused an uproar. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail ... continue reading

All Europe News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More