Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/25/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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 May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Pope canonizes first Arabic-speaking saints in church's history Watch

Image of Sister Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, born in Jerusalem in 1847, opened girls' schools, fought female illiteracy and co-founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Rosary.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was seen as a gesture of goodwill to Christians living in the Middle East. Pope Francis described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as an "angel of peace" before canonizing two 19th century nuns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sisters Mariam Bawardy and ... continue reading


Israel incensed as the Vatican recognizes the state of Palestine Watch

Image of Both the United States and Israel oppose recognition, arguing that it undermines U.S.-led efforts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian deal on the terms of Palestinian statehood.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The decision is an extremely unpopular one for Israel - the Vatican has recognized the State of Palestine in a new treaty. The treaty concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory. It's a dramatic demonstration of the turnaround in the ... continue reading


Grandfather transforms three-bedroom home into stunning replica of Sistine Chapel Watch

Image of It took Robert Burns three times as long to complete his work as it took painter Michelangelo to complete his masterpiece in Rome.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It took 12 long years, but Robert Burns of Brighton, England has finally completed his dream project of turning his three-bedroom home into a replica of the Sistine Chapel. The 67-year-old former interior decorator was inspired by Renaissance painters and ... continue reading


Is the Holy See taking action against Medjugorje?

Image of

By Matt C. Abbott

Catholic Christians who are familiar with the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, might be interested in the following developments. Although a definitive judgment has yet to be announced by the Church-a commission formed by the ... continue reading


Venus de Milo - a prostitute? New evidence offers intriguing new theories Watch

Image of A San Francisco-based designer has recreated the sculpture as a spinner, which was a pursuit popular with idle prostitutes in ancient Greece.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes what is missing fills in an otherwise incomplete story. There is new evidence suggesting that the model for the famous Venus de Milo statue may have been a prostitute. A new 3-D reconstruction suggests that the statue was spinning yarn in the manner ... continue reading


The mystery behind 'the Devil's Bible': Europe's largest surviving manuscript Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europe's largest surviving manuscript, the Codex Gigas, is commonly referred to as "the Devil's Bible' by many who are left baffled by the mysterious text. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The manuscript, held in the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm, is ... continue reading


Fatima prophecies 'lift veil' on anti-Christian persecution today, Vatican cardinal says Watch

Image of The Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, and confided in them three secrets. Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the visionaries, wrote them down years later.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The "secrets" of Our Lady of Fatima tell of today's Christian persecution, in addition to the martyrdom of the past century, Cardinal Angelo Amato of the Vatican has declared. The cardinal had "the privilege" of reading the original manuscripts of the secrets of ... continue reading


Malfunctioned fair ride leaves terrified passengers suspended at 200 feet Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thrill seekers were left hanging upside down on a fairground ride in Holland for almost an hour. The group consisting of seven riders, were riding the "Booster" ride at a spring fair in Didam, Netherlands. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -The local newspaper, ... continue reading


Fears regarding Pope Francis' health resurface after he says he is 'a bit old and sick' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Telling parishioners he is "a bit old and a bit sick," new fears for the health of Pope Francis have resurfaced. The pope asked a group of elderly and disabled people to pray for him, warning that he was also suffering from heath problems. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Queen Elizabeth meets royal baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The royal newborn baby to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, was finally visited by the 89-year-old Queen. She went to Kensington Palace and was introduced to her fifth great-grandchild Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, born May 2, 2015. The baby's first ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter