German Bishop Live in 31 Million Euro Residence



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German Bishop Live in 31 Million Euro ResidenceAdded:2013-10-10
By: ultara
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A German bishop under fire over his lavish lifestyle faced pressure to resign on Wednesday (October 9) after his diocese announced his new residence would cost 31 million euros - more than six times the amount originally planned. Criticism of the spending habits of Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst prompted a rare review by a Vatican monitor last month, after which the 53-year-old German agreed to let an outside commission audit his finances. A spokesman for the Limburg diocese, Martin Wind, said the bishop had asked for people's trust and patience and remained willing to discuss matters. "He reiterated his willingness to talk," Wind said. The future will show how things now look in detail, what needs to be intensified and which structures are possibly created as a result," he added. The soaring cost of the bishop's residence - an ensemble of buildings adjacent to the cathedral including a private chapel - puts the bishop radically out of step with Pope Francis's stress on simplicity and poverty and has split the diocese. "As a Catholic, it is something that completely doesn't fit with the times today, such a prestige project that the church pushes through. The function of the church and the pope is now of humility and setting an example and nothing else, and this doesn't belong to it any more - we're not in the Middle Ages any more," said Raimund Champert, a local Catholic. "It's actually shameless what's going on," said his wife, Roswitha Champert. "I may be a Catholic but I don't agree with it at all." The leader of Frankfurt's Catholic community centre, who was let go by Tebartz-van Elst, is now running a campaign calling for his resignation. "With this campaign, we want to give believers the opportunity to contact the bishop and to tell him what they think about it, and to invite his resignation. Because it's enough now - 31 million, with that he's crossed a red line and we're calling for his resignation," said Patrick Dehm, standing outside Limburg cathedral. The visit by the Vatican monitor, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, marked a new Vatican willingness to correct mismanagement by bishops, who Pope Francis has said should not be careerists but shepherds with the "smell of their sheep." After his visit, Tebartz-van Elst said he was very sorry for any carelessness or misjudgement on his part. Mismanagement by bishops and the Vatican's slow response were at the root of sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church around the world for more than a decade. There are no sexual abuse allegations in this case. Two archbishops in Slovenia and one in Cameroon have resigned because of financial scandals since Francis was elected pope in March.
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