Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Vatican deposes German ‘bishop of bling’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Vatican deposes German ‘bishop of bling’
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Vatican removed a German bishop on Wednesday 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 said the Vatican department that oversees bishops had now studied the investigation’s findings and accepted his resignation.

The 108-page report for the German Bishops’ Conference said Tebartz-van Elst had demanded that all those involved in the project should observe “strict secrecy” about its costs.

It said the accounting and construction procedures used “a system that was not transparent either to the diocese or the public”, adding that the bishop “alone must also carry the full responsibility” because he did not share information.

Another prelate, Monsignor Manfred Grothe, has been appointed to run the diocese as an administrator on the Vatican’s behalf for the time being and a position will be found for Tebartz-van Elst in due course, the Vatican said.

Pope Francis has been urging Church officials around the world to live simpler lives and to get closer to the poor.

He has several times told bishops not to live like princes and has renounced the spacious papal apartments in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace for much more modest quarters in a Church guest house.

Irritation

Last year, Francis showed his irritation over the affair by keeping Tebartz-van Elst waiting for eight days in Rome before receiving him in the Vatican.

German media, citing official documents, said the Limburg residence had been fitted with a free-standing bath that cost 15,000 euros, a conference table that cost 25,000 euros and a private chapel for 2.9 million euros.

“It is very important for the Church in all of Germany to draw the necessary conclusions … this applies especially to transparency in Church finances,” said Alois Glueck, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, the main lay association in Germany.

Tebartz-van Elst has apologised for any “carelessness or misjudgement on my part”, but he denies any wrongdoing.

The affair has deeply embarrassed a German Catholic Church that had been enjoying an upswing in popularity because of Francis’s wide personal appeal and after years of criticism for covering up sexual abuse cases among the clergy.

Tebartz-van Elst, 54, is still 21 years away from official retirement age in the Church. He will retain the title and rank of bishop but the Vatican will probably want to put him in a low-profile job.

The scandal has forced German bishops to scrap centuries of secrecy over reporting the value of their private endowments.

Germany’s church tax, collected from worshippers by the state and handed over to the churches, raised 5.2 billion euros for Catholics and 4.6 billion euros for Protestants in 2012.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Media16 hours ago

No sex please, we’re Thai

Events18 hours ago

An aquatic meal with Olga Belka – taking art to new depths

Transport21 hours ago

Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Train Station) – History and future | VIDEO

Sponsored3 days ago

CBRE recommends top 5 luxury condominiums in Phuket with fantastic locations

imageimage
Thailand21 hours ago

Bug-eating challenge with Natty, feat. Mark Abbott | VIDEO

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

UPDATE: Israel bans ALL foreign entry over Omicron

Thailand1 day ago

New variant could dampen Thailand’s reopening enthusiasm

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

UPDATE: Latest news on Omicron – what we know

Tourism2 days ago

Songkhla prepares for tourism across the Southern land border

Thailand2 days ago

French expat being denied re-entry to Thailand over repeated criticism of the Thai monarchy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 6,073 infections, 32 deaths, provincial data

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Omicron causing concern, Thai authorities ban travellers from 8 countries

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Thailand’s nightlife venues and bars told to keep closed until January 16

Protests2 days ago

Amnesty International under investigation for defending activists

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

Thailand2 days ago

CCSA sticks with plan to reopen bars on January 16

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending