'Bishop of Bling' Steps Down

Pope Francis accepts Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst's resignation

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 26, 2014 9:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – A German bishop temporarily expelled last year by Pope Francis has now left his post for good. The pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, the Vatican says. Tebartz-van Elst had reportedly spent some $43 million on renovating church buildings, including his own residence, the New York Times notes. He earned the nickname "bishop of bling," per NPR—a particular problem at a time when the pope has called on clergy to live more simply, Reuters reports. Tebartz-van Elst initially offered his resignation in October amid frustration in his diocese.

In this Sept. 24, 2013 file picture Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, right, Bishop of Limburg, Germany, attends a mass during a meeting of German bishops in Fulda, Germany.   (AP Photo/dpa,Arne Dedert,File)
In this Dec. 3, 2012 file photo, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, Bishop of Limburg, Germany, stands in the atrium of the chapel at the Bishop's residence in Limburg, Germany.   (AP Photo/dpa,Boris Roessler,File)
In this Oct. 17, 2013 file picture,people view the residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in Limburg, Germany.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILES)
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