The Vatican issued a statement saying that the pope had been “comprehensively and objectively” informed about what was going on in the diocese and that Tebartz-van Elst “currently cannot exercise his office.”
It added that the Holy See considered it “advisable” for the bishop to spend an unspecified time away from Limburg. His duties will be assumed by a deacon, Wolfgang Rösch, who was already scheduled to become the diocese’s chief administrator at the end of the year. The current chief, Franz Kaspar, 75, a confidante of the bishop, will now retire immediately, two and a half months early, the Vatican said.
UPDATE: Well, nevermind.
A German-speaking reader (and deacon) tells me that Wolfgang Rösch is, in fact, a priest. He carries the title of “Dekan,” which the Times and others have inaccurately translated as “deacon.” It actually means “dean.”