Model of humility for the Roman Catholic religion, no less than its spiritual leader Pope Francis, has finally met on Monday Germany's extravagant Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst who allegedly spent a whopping $42 million on renovations to his home.
But apart from confirming the actual face off between the two spiritual leaders, the Vatican did not offer any other details on the meeting.
Pope Francis in March 2013 (This file is taken from the Presidency of the Nation of Argentina web site, licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike. Photo by Casa Rosada)
Pope Francis was alerted on Bishop Tebartz-van Elst's lavish lifestyle by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the president of the German Bishops Conference, who sent the pontiff a letter about it. Archbishop Zollitsch noted the German bishop's alleged spending habits directly contradicts the pope's instructions on simple living.
Bishop Tebartz-van Elst's has likewise been alleged to have lied and denied the gross spending to a commission formed to look into his irregular expenditures.
The renovations to his new home reportedly included a 63-square-metre dining room and a 15,000-euro bathtub.
Apart from the Pope, Bishop Tebartz-van Elst reportedly also met Cologne's Archbishop Cardinal Joachim Meisner in the same meeting.
According to Deutsche Welle, quoting Roman Catholic church insiders, the pope and Meisner must have possibly asked Bishop Tebartz-van Elst to voluntarily step down.
"A pope cannot simply fire a bishop. There need to be serious grounds for removal from office: either he is too ill to perform his duties or he has violated church law. So the Vatican would have to prove the latter. With a view to this, the German Bishops' Conference has spent the last few days examining Tebartz-van Elst's financial records," Deutsche Welle reported.
However, it may still take some time for the Vatican to release a decision on the matter.
Archbishop Zollitsch is still required to file a report concerning the scandal, ABC News reported.