Pope Lays Off German ‘Bishop Of Bling’ After Inquiry


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has permanently removed a German bishop from his Limburg diocese after his 31 million-euro ($43-million) new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful.

Francis had temporarily expelled Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from Limburg in October pending a church inquiry into the affair. The Vatican said Wednesday that the inquiry found that he could no longer exercise his ministry and that Francis had accepted his resignation, which was originally offered Oct. 20.

A replacement, Monsignor Manfred Grothe, will take over for now, the Vatican said citing a statement from the diocese.

It added that Tebartz-van Elst would get a new job, and that the pope hoped that the faithful of Limburg would accept the decision with “docility and willingness to rediscover a climate of charity and reconciliation.”