Main | Wednesday, October 23, 2013

GERMANY: Pope Francis Expels Bishop Over Opulent $43M Residence Complex

I told you about this guy two weeks ago. Now he's been expelled by Pope Francis.
The Vatican stressed that Francis took the decision based on "objective" information, suggesting that the Vatican wasn't being swayed by the popular outcry. Francis has also made it clear he expects his bishops to live simply, setting as an example his own humble lifestyle. Tebartz-van Elst met with Francis on Monday. Germany's main lay Catholic group, the Central Committee of German Catholics, praised the decision. "Pope Francis' decision offers the chance of a first step toward a new beginning in the Limburg diocese, because the situation had become an increasing burden for the faithful there and in all of Germany," said Alois Glueck, the group's head. The German government refused to comment on the matter. Franz-Josef Bode, bishop of Osnabrueck, said the pope had made a "smart" decision which gives all concerned time to review the situation calmly. But in comments to the German newspaper Die Welt, he cast doubt on Tebartz-van Elst ever returning to Limburg. "There is a fundamental crisis of confidence in Limburg. The situation there is a mess," Bode was quoted as saying.
Der Spiegel reported on the mansion:
The complex boasts dedicated rooms for reliquaries, a sauna, a fireplace, a wine cellar, gemstone detailing, statues of holy figures and a heatable roof that can protect the bishop's private chapel from snow and ice. The magnificent estate can only be seen from outside from a nearby balcony. But the woman with access to the balcony seems intimidated when asked about it. Certain "gentlemen," she says, have strictly forbidden her to allow interested visitors access to the balcony.
(Tipped by JMG reader Paul)

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