The Vatican has removed a German bishop because he spent 31 million euros ($43 million) of Church funds on an extravagant residence when Pope Francis was preaching austerity.
It said the atmosphere in the diocese of Limburg had become such that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst could no longer carry out a “fruitful exercise” of his ministry there.
Tebartz-van Elst, dubbed the “bishop of bling”, had been ordered to stay out of his diocese temporarily last October during a local Church investigation and audit of cost over-runs. He offered his resignation at the time.
A statement on Wednesday said the Vatican department that oversees bishops had now studied the investigation’s findings and accepted his resignation.