The more than $40 million he allowed to be spent on renovations at his residence and allegations that he lied about some of his other lavish spending have now officially cost the “bishop of bling” his job.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that it has accepted the resignation of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who had been the bishop of Limburg, Germany. He will be assigned other duties.
It was last October when the Vatican suspended Tebartz-van Elst, following reports about $475,000 that was spent on walk-in closets, $20,000 for a bathtub and other expenditures that drove the cost of what was supposed to be a $7.5 million or so renovation to nearly 6 times that figure.
As Agence France-Presse adds, “he had also come under fire for lying under oath about flying first class to visit slum dwellers in India.”
News accounts about Tebartz-van Elst’s spending led to his less than flattering “bishop of bling” nickname. As Reuters notes, the stories came at a particularly sensitive time — “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.”
There are plans being made to turn the residence into a refuge for the poor and homeless.