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German bishops, Pope to confer on spending dispute in Limburg diocese

October 11, 2013

The president of the German Catholic bishops’ conference has said that he will discuss the crisis in the Limburg diocese with Pope Francis during a meeting in Rome next week.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who heads the German episcopal conference, said that the German hierarchy needs guidance in facing the “distressing situation” in Limburg, where a bishop faces charges of providing false testimony in an increasingly bitter public dispute over diocesan spending.

Prosecutors announced this week that they will ask for a court judgment against Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who allegedly filed false affidavits after being accused of lavish spending. The bishop is under fire for investing over $40 million—several times the original estimated cost—in a new diocesan complex. Archbishop Zollitsch told reporters that he was "as surprised at the €31 million figure as you are."


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