In case the “Bishop of Bling” thought tempers would cool down and things would return to normal, Catholic Church officials in his own diocese of Limburg have just announced that his lavish mansion will be repurposed to help the homeless.
Bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the German bishop who was suspended last week by Pope Francis following complaints by outraged Germans about his extravagant lifestyle, will remain “outside of the diocese” for an undetermined length of time. And now, he may see his lavish official residence in Limburg converted to serve the poor—either as a refugee center or a soup kitchen for the homeless.
A spokesman said that the renovations, which totaled some $41 million, included conference rooms and offices, as well as updates to the bishop’s residence. It’s reported that $500,000 was spent on new closets alone.
According to a report in The Independent, a spokesperson for Caritas in Germany said of the building:
The residence is like an inherited sin which the bishop has left in his wake…. People who seek sanctuary with us could be given food in the residence.
There is no news regarding the controversial bishop’s future in the Church, and whether he will be permitted to return to his native Germany.