The Vatican has indefinitely suspended 53 year old Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of the Diocese of Limburg, also known as “The Bling Bishop”. This came as a result of the many controversies surrounding his lifestyle . “The Bling Bishop” spent a staggering $42m on a luxury residence & reportedly spent $15,000 on his bathtub alone.
The luxury residence includes a museum, conference halls, a chapel and private apartments. His predecessor initially approved the project and it was valued at an estimated $7.5 million, but when “The Bling Bishop” came along, the final bill rose to $42 million, including a $1 million garden. Here are photos of the luxury apartment:
Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, Reinhard Marx, welcomed “the decision which draws to a close a period of uncertainty for the Limburg diocese and makes a fresh start possible.”
The cardinal called for “greater transparency” in Catholic Church finances in the wake of the scandal, in order to “increase the credibility of our Church” — echoing calls made by the new pope, who has called for a “poor Church for the poor”.
Last year over 4,000 signed an open letter criticising him for using Church offering to fund his luxury lifestyle.
He is also accused of giving false statements in court about an expensive Ist class flight he took to India to visit poor communities. Pope Francis decided to have him step-down pending the conclusion of investigations. The Vatican didn’t say how long he would spend away from the diocese of Limburg but it refused calls to remove him permanently.