Thursday, October 24, 2013

German bishop suspended for wasteful spending, but raises new concerns

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has been removed from his post as head of the Diocese of Limburg, Germany, after heated complaints about his heavy spending on a personal residence.
The Vatican announced on October 23 that “a situation has arisen in which Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst cannot, at the present moment, continue to exercise his episcopal ministry.” The Vatican has therefore directed the German bishop to leave the diocese. (Source)

This story broke just a few days ago in the mainstream media, as the bishop apparently spent 30 million euros (about C$43 million) to renovate his residence and a diocesan office building. Critics described his personal spending habits as “lavish.” German prosecutors also accused him of filing false affidavits in a lawsuit over reporting on his spending habits.

That’s not exactly what Jesus meant when he said “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) ;-)

I’m pleasantly surprised at how quickly the Vatican moved on this. His suspension is great news.  We can’t have bishops living high on the hog and wasting precious Church resources.

However, there’s a troublesome corollary to this swift suspension.

You see, for years we’ve had many bishops publicly dissenting from Church teaching and doing scandalous things, yet they weren’t suspended. And here we have a bishop who wastes money, hardly the most valuable asset of the Church, and he gets shown the door within days. Do you see what I’m getting at?  (more...)

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