German ‘luxury bishop’ flies to Rome for papal decision on his job

October 13, 2013

(Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, 1 June 2012/Christliches Medienmagazin pro)

A German Catholic bishop under fire for huge cost overruns on a luxury residence and alleged lying under oath has flown to Rome to meet Vatican officials and possibly Pope Francis to decide if he can stay in office.

A spokesman confirmed on Sunday that Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had departed but would not say when or how long he would be away. He declined to comment on media reports the prelate flew on a budget airline.

Tebartz-van Elst has caused a crisis in the German church for building a luxury residence and office complex at a time when the new pope is stressing humility and service to the poor.

“The bishop has made it clear that any decision about his service as a bishop lies in the hands of the Holy Father (Pope Francis),” said a statement issued by the diocese on Saturday.

“The bishop is saddened by the escalation of the current discussion. He sees and regrets that many believers are suffering under the current situation,” it said.

Tebartz-van Elst, whose baroque style was more in line with the conservative model of Roman Catholicism projected by retired Pope Benedict, has also been accused of lying under oath about a first-class flight to visit poverty programs in India.
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by Hannah Ongley | 1:36 pm, October 11th, 2013

Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who is being criticized for spending $42m on his new headquarters in west Germany, The Local is reporting.

Today it was revealed that the Karl Lagerfeld of the Catholic church had not only let costs overrun ten times the initial estimate, but had allocated the funds thusly: A little over $1m on a garden, $34,000 on a table, $20,000 on a bathtub and **** *** a truly mind-boggling $475,000 on walk-in wardrobes.***

The church is paying, but the bishop is being criticized for setting a bad example. He has also apparently kept his financial council in the dark about mounting costs. “Those who know me, know that I don’t need any kind of grandiose lifestyle,” the swanky suffragan told Bild newspaper, presumably while ensconced inside his wardrobe selecting vestments from a computer screen Cher Horowitz-style.

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