Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Big spending German bishop comes up before the pope

Holy See tight lipped on details of encounter

Big spending German bishop comes up before the pope

Picture: Vatican Insider/La Stampa

Andrea Tornielli for Vatican Insider/La Stampa
Vatican City

October 22, 2013

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)


“The meeting went well...”. This is all the Bishop of the German diocese of Limburg,  Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, had to say about his meeting with Francis this morning. The bishop has been criticised for a costly renovation of a diocesan centre and Episcopal residence. The cost of the project skyrocketed from €5 to €21 million. The Pope met with the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, just before receiving Van Elst.

The Holy See Press Office has not published any information regarding potential decisions that may have been taken during the meeting between Francis and the bishop, who arrived in Rome a few days ago and is staying in the Santa Maria dell'Anima residence. The bishop has received a visit from the Prefect of the Papal Household and Benedict XVI’s secretary, Georg Gänswein. The German prelate may not return to his diocese straight away, partly because of the public opposition Limburg’s priests have shown towards him.

Van Elst has been at the centre of a fierce media campaign for weeks. He is accused of having an “authoritarian style” and squandering the diocese’s money. German journalists say the cost of renovating the diocesan centre near Limburg Cathedral, which is where the Episcopal residence is also located, ballooned to €31 million after it was originally estimated at €5,5 million. It is not clear to what extent the diocesan finance council was involved. The German episcopate has set up a commission which is currently looking into the matter. According to the Sunday issue of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the bishop’s resignation is “out of the question” but that a public apology may be made. 

Full Story: Limburg’s big spender bishop meets Francis face to face

Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa

UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.

LATEST