German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst dismissed by Pope Francis

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who had reportedly spent €31 million on a new residence and complex in his Limburg diocese in Germany.
Since the controversy broke Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst  received strong backing from Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and also from Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the papal household and private secretary of the retired Bishop of Rome, Benedict XVI.
In his general audience, 26 March 2014, Pope Francis asked for prayers for bishops and priests. He went on to say that “A bishop who does not serve the community is not good. A priest who does not serve his community is preposterous.” (translation, praytellblog.com)
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  1. Eddie Finnegan says:

    They’re burying, or rather cremating, Tony Benn today. They’ve tried to bury him for decades, especially his own lot, but failed miserably.
    Meanwhile, here are his Five Questions for the Powerful:
    Try out that little quintet of queries next time you meet your Bishop, your Bank Manager, the Minister for Justice, the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána – or, just for the crack or craic, the ACP Leadership.
    Good luck with the answers.

  2. There was a lot going on in that diocese. We aren’t being told the full story. I’d say the bishop is not going back because they don’t want him back, not because he’s done anything wrong. I’ve read the news (the truth) behind the ‘news’, and they aren’t the same. It seems this was a good bishop who spent a lot of money on the diocesan building restoration work, then framed by liberals as an extravagant bling bishop who just happens to be orthodox. That’s it.

  3. Shaun – “I’ve read the news (the truth) behind the ‘news’, and they aren’t the same. ”
    I am always skeptical of those who claim to know the real truth of every situation, the truth behind the news.
    Shaun what is the truth of the immoral amount of money spent of this project by a church when so many are deprived of basic needs.
    What is the truth of the fact that this Bishop paid a fine of €20,000 rather than contest a charge of perjury, thus admitting his guilt.
    After a period of penance I firmly believe he should have a ministry in the church, perhaps as a priest in a parish to the poor of India whom he flew first class to visit.
    Shaun, we cannot always make ‘truth’ fit what we think it should be, it cannot always be made fit our opinions. This post means all others you place on this site need to viewed with skepticism; what is your truth if in this case it is so skewed from reality?

  4. George, research it yourself. There is a history in that diocese with this bishop and the one before him. They didn’t like either of them because they were ‘conservative’. Notice that the Vatican announcement made no mention of any wrongdoing, simply that for the ‘good’ of the diocese, he wouldn’t be back. Behind that is the reality that they don’t want him back so the Vatican is playing soft on that and letting them have their wish. They want a bishop more pleasing to their desires and I guess they’ll get one. One could argue about the merit of the building work. It was a fine medieval style building which needed some work done. Do you suggest we let fine buildings crumble and replace them with modern monstrosities? Fine architecture has value too. It wasn’t just the bishop’s home but also the diocesan offices.

  5. Shaun, very selective of you and the tiny little matter of the €20,000 fine for perjury you happen to overlook.
    I have researched this story very well, perhaps you need to revisit your own ‘research’. I do not come to this from a “traditional” or “liberal” stance, just one of a person horrified at what can be done in the name of Christ and the Church and what is a total disregard of concern for the poor. Sorry, but people trump buildings any day of the week in my book. At any rate what was done went far beyond necessary works to preserve old buildings.
    Reuters: “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.”
    And of course in the usual pattern of such decision making to quote Reuters again
    “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.”
    Sorry Shaun, there’s no spinning this one. Attempting to do so only undermines every single item you post. Debate over from my perspective.

  6. Shaun, you have got this completely wrong and George is correct in what he has said to you. My information is that Tebartz-van Elst admitted to two counts of perjury in November last year. So, how can you possibly say he did nothing wrong? And, that is before we even get to the scandal of the 31m euros spent on the refurbishment of his “residence”.
    While I have no knowledge as to whether the former bishop of Limburg is conservative or not, you may well be right in your assumption that he is a conservative.
    We now know that he is a close pal of Gorgeous George, otherwise known as Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Ratzinger’s close friend and personal secretary.I would suspect that Ganswein put in the good word with Ratzinger and that is why some one as young as Tebartz-van Elst became a bishop and I would bet good money that his conservatism was a help.
    If we had still been in the Benedict era , knowledge of this scandal might never have made it into the public domain.

  7. I don’t really care. It’s just one thing after another after another in the modern train-wreck Church. Our Lord is surely looking on in complete dismay at everything that is going on. George, I post and each post stands on its own merits. And besides, who are you to judge the bishop on the E15,000 bath? Who I am I to bath? =p

  8. Shaun, parts of the institutional Church might be a bit of a mess just now but you know we are also “the church”. There is still hope. Thank God, for example, for the ACP and its the vision of church that is so inspiring. And, for giving us all a chance to have our voice heard. Most of all, let us thank God for Francis and let us pray for his continued good health and long life. We need to have him for at least ten years, I think, to turn things around. I thought you might be interested in this piece (link below) in tomorrow’s Sunday Independent. It is truly wonderful that we can feel good about our Pope once again. I had, just about, given up all hope.
    PS. Shaun, don’t forget to put your clock forward.

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