‘Bishop Of Bling’ Busted By Pope Francis
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, derided as the “Bishop of Bling,” was bounced by the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, Wednesday morning.
The Vatican confirmed that the Bishop of Bling has been ordered to vacate the diocese of Limburg in Germany.
“Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst cannot, at the present moment, continue to exercise his episcopal ministry,” the Vatican statement read.
The Bishop of Bling came under fire for reportedly spending in the area of $42 million renovating his residence. Reuters reports that the German media quote documents that reveal a free-standing bath costing over $20,000, a conference table worth close to $35,000 and a private chapel coming in at just under $4 million. Der Spiegel published a story entitled “Pimping the Diocese” about the Bishop of Bling and his luxuries.
Pope Francis, in stark contrast to the Bishop of Bling, has declined residence in the lavish papal apartments, instead residing in what amounts to a guest room in the Vatican. Francis’s reasoning is simple: he prefers a modest life over the alleged excesses of the Bishop of Bling because he has chosen a life of servitude. Pope Francis, who has already shaken up Catholicism, revealed in March he hopes for a “poor church.”
“Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor,” said Pope Francis.
“Pope Francis’ decision offers the chance of a first step toward a new beginning in the Limburg diocese,” said Alois Glueck, head of the Central Committee of German Catholics, on the Bishop of Bling’s banishment.
In the Bishop of Bling’s absence, the diocese will be administered by a vicar-general.
The Reuters report says that even if the Bishop of Bling were to abdicate his post in Limburg, he would still have the rank of bishop and the Vatican would an assignment for him somewhere.
What do you think of the Bishop of Bling? Did Pope Francis handle the Bishop of Bling well? Is “Bishop of Bling” a fair moniker?