Syracuse (WSYR-TV/ABC) – In the latest installment of the his crusade to put the Catholic Church on the side of the poor, Pope Francis has suspended a top German bishop for his extravagant spending.
The suspension was a tough blow for a cleric regaled as the “Bishop of Bling.”
Bishop Franz Peter Tabartz Van Elst was temporarily expelled from his Diocese in Germany as the Vatican investigates his new $43 million home.
The renovations reportedly include $475,000 for walk-in closets, $20,000 for the Bishop’s bathtub, and a heated roof for his personal chapel.
The lavish expenses are contrary to the image the Pontiff is asking the church to adopt.
Pope Francis washes the feet of the poor, drives a beat-up car, carries his own bags, and lives in a simple room rather than the regal papal apartments.
The Bishop has defended the massive price tag for the new complex he calls home, saying it was actually for 10 projects.
But the Bishop’s reputation preceded the upgrades: they include first-class flights and allegations of an authoritarian leadership style.
The Vatican says it will conduct a fair investigation into the matter.