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Pope Francis removed German bishop from diocese over residence

This week Pope Francis permanently removed a German bishop from his diocese after he upset the faithful with his 31 million-euro ($43 million) new residence complex.

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst was permanently removed by Pope Francis

Pope Francis expelled Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from Limburg temporarily last October so that a church inquiry could be performed. The inquiry was into the residence complex and other renovations in the $43 million price range.

When questioned about the expensive renovations, Tebartz-van Elst defended them saying the bill would cover 10 projects and it was because of historical protection that made it so costly. The faithful members of the German church were outraged by the price tag as well as the lack of financial transparency.

In Germany, a church tax brings in millions for the church. The Vatican determined this week that Tebartz-van Elst could no longer “exercise his ministry.” Pope Francis also accepted the defrocked bishop’s resignation.

According to a statement from the diocese, Monsignor Manfred Grothe will be Tebartz-van Elst’s replacement. The statement went on to state that Tebartz-van Elst would receive a new job “at the opportune time.”

The statement went on to voice the Pope’s hope that the faithful members of Limburg would accept his decision with “docility and willingness to rediscover a climate of charity and reconciliation.”

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