German bishop cleared of 'lavish spending' charges
September 30, 2013
After investigating charges of lavish spending in a German diocese, the Vatican has cleared the bishop of wrongdoing.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg is “quite delighted” with the results of the Vatican probe, a diocesan spokesman said. The bishop had been harshly criticized for renovations to his residence and a diocesan office building.
Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the retired president of the Vatican city-state governorate, traveled to Germany to confer with local clergy about the complaints against the bishop and to check diocesan financial records. His investigation reportedly ended with the conclusion that Bishop Tebart-van Elst was not guilty of wrongdoing.
A spokesman for the Limburg diocese acknowledged that the Vatican’s support would not end the bishop’s difficulties. Bishop Tebartz-van Elst had been assailed by critics who compared him unfavorably to his predecessor, the spokesman said, and “obtaining the loyalty of priests and lay Catholics will be a big problem.”
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