It’s been about a week since Pope Francis brought the hammer down on Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the so-called “Bishop of Bling,” for his exorbitant lifestyle. But the question remains: What’s to become of the Bishop’s official residence, for which he is alleged to have spent over 31 million euros in renovations?
Tebartz-van Elst is currently on a “period of leave from the diocese” after “a situation [was] created in which the bishop can no longer exercise his episcopal duties.” His dismissal came just two days after he met with Pope Francis to discuss the matter.
“Tebartz-van Elst earned his unflattering nickname after reports surfaced that close to $40 million has been spent on work at his home and offices — about eight times what had been expected. He also, as National Catholic Reporter writes, allegedly made false statements in court about that work.”Catholic church officials in his home diocese (Limburg) announced today that the Bishop of Bling’s multi-million euro residence might now be turned into a refugee center or a soup kitchen for the homeless.
“The residence is like an inherited sin which the bishop has left in his wake,” said a spokesman for Caritas, an organization that aids the homeless. “People who seek sanctuary with us could be given food in the residence,” he added.
Church officials in Germany are also taking their own steps to admonish Tebartz-van Elst, reports The Independent.
A former Limburg bishop actually did turn his home over to a refugee family from Eritrea while he moved into the novice priest quarters. Turning the Bishop of Bling’s mansion into a refugee center or soup kitchen would certainly be a way or preserving that tradition.