Vatican to discuss lavish spendings of Germany's bishop

16 October 2013 12:36
ROME (QHA) - A German bishop has flown - reportedly with a budget airline - to the Vatican in Rome to discuss his lavish spending, reports BBC. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst - dubbed the "Luxury Bishop" - is facing calls for his resignation after spending 31m euros ($42m) on his residence. He is also accused of lying about the over-spend on the property in Limburg. In Rome, he will meet the head of the Catholic Church in Germany, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch. It is not clear if Pope Francis will intervene. As reported, since taking office in March, Pope Francis has urged the Church to promote a lifestyle of frugality and simplicity. The allegations have stoked controversy among Catholics in Germany, where Martin Luther launched the Reformation in Europe five centuries ago in response to what he said were excesses and abuses within the Church. Active German Catholics also pay a tax to the Church as part of their income tax, and many are shocked by the apparent financial waste - prompting some to stage demonstrations outside the bishop's residence in Limburg, a town in Hesse near Frankfurt-on-Main. "The bishop has made it clear that any decision about his service as a bishop lies in the hands of the Holy Father (Pope Francis)," said a statement issued by the diocese on Saturday. "The bishop is saddened by the escalation of the current discussion. He sees and regrets that many believers are suffering under the current situation," it said.