The Vatican on Wednesday said it had accepted the resignation of a German Roman Catholic prelate known as the “bishop of bling” because he spent 31 million euros of Church funds on his residence.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg was ordered to leave his diocese last October while an investigation and audit into cost over-runs was made. He offered his resignation at the time.
The Vatican said the investigation was completed and that an apostolic administrator, Mons. Manfred Grothe, had been appointed to run the diocese for the time being. Another position would be found for Tebartz-van Elst eventually.
A statement said Pope Francis was asking the faithful of the diocese of Limburg to accept the decision “with docility” and to work to restore what it called a “climate of charity and reconciliation”. Pope Francis has been urging Church officials around the world to be more austere and live simple lives in order to be closer to the poor.