Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of German Bling Bishop
By Vittorio Hernandez | March 27, 2014 9:49 AM EST
Five months after Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst offered on Oct 20, 2013 to resign from his post as bishop of the Limburg diocese in Germany, Pope Francis accepted on Wednesday his resignation.
The monsignor was popularly called Bling Bishop because of the extravagant cost of the construction of his new residence, estimated at $43 million. The staggering amount stunned Catholics and caused an uproar that led to his suspension and eventual removal from office.
In his place, the pontiff appointed Monsignor Manfred Grothe, the current auxiliary bishop of Paderborn, while the Bling Bishop would be given another job "at the opportune time."
Pope Francis was quoted as saying that he hopes Limburg Catholics would accept his decision with "docility and willingness to rediscover a climate of charity and reconciliation."
At the same time, the pope - known for his simplicity and austere living - called on the clergy to be models of sobriety since they belong to a church that ought to be "poor and is for the poor."
It's a lesson, however, that seems to be lost on the Bling Bishop who defended his uber high bill as covering 10 projects and additional costs caused by the historical protection of the buildings.
The residence reportedly includes a $20,000 bathtub and $620,000 artwork.
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