Germany's 'Bishop of Bling' steps down

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Germany's 'Bishop of Bling' steps down

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Germany’s so called ‘Bishop of Bling’ has been permanently removed from his diocese in Limburg by the Vatican.

Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was suspended in October for spending 31 million euros on renovating his official residence.

The head of Germany’s Catholic Church Cardinal Reinhard Marx said lessons from the cleric’s lavish spending had been learnt.

“One thing is clear, we will make a joint effort to considerably increase the level of transparency and supervision of church finances,’‘ said Marx.

In a statement, the Vatican said the Bishop could no longer carry out a ‘fruitful exercise’ of his ministry. Something which struck a cord in Limburg.

One woman said: ‘‘There are so many poor countries in the world where money is urgently needed and he is wasting it here on himself.’‘

Another woman said: ‘‘The waste of money that has happened here and the way he behaved in my view wasn’t right. That’s not what a bishop should do. I don’t think I’m the only one. Everyone in Limburg will be relieved if he doesn’t come back.”

The Vatican has said the Bishop will be moved elsewhere. Since coming to power Pope Francis has urged Church officials to live simpler lives and get closer to the poor.