“German Outrage Swells Over a Bishop’s Spending”

German outrage? I read the first paragraphs of this NYT story by Alison Smale and I was outraged! And I’m not German. Nor am I Catholic.

BERLIN — Since being elected in March, Pope Francis has quickly made a mark with his displays of modesty, eschewing lavish papal apartments for a spartan guesthouse in Vatican City, wearing simple vestments, carrying his own bag and preaching against a Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that he said was overly insular and too often led by “narcissists.”

Apparently, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, 53, the bishop of Limburg, Germany, for almost six years, is not on the same page as his new boss.

Roman Catholic bishops rarely serve as Page 1 tabloid fodder or top the national television ratings. But the prelate of Limburg earned this dubious distinction in 24 hours last week as outrage swelled after the news media reported the cost of the renovation of his residence, about $42 million, and a state prosecutor in Hamburg charged him with lying in a legal case.

That’s right, $42 million. Although it includes a perfectly reasonable $20,000 bathtub so maybe the Church can give this guy a break.

He really should be a Russian oligarch buying penthouses in NYC, shouldn’t he? And he had the chutzpah (that’s sort of a German word) to sue the magazine Der Spiegel for libel, because in 2012 they reported “that he flew first class on a visit to the poor in India.” During that lawsuit, he “made false statements under oath.” That is called perjury, I do believe. Can you believe he’s suing for libel and lying himself?

A seriously screwed-up dude.

Do take a look at the photograph of this $42 mil residence. Ugly.

UPDATE 3/28/14.  The Daily News headline is, “Pope kicks dope out of $43M home.” It took only four months for the new Pope to get this big spender to resign: Pope Francis replaces German bishop for building ritzy home – NY Daily News.

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