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German bishop pays settlement to avoid prosecution for false testimony

November 18, 2013

A German bishop has paid €20,000 ($27,000) to avoid prosecution for giving false testimony under oath.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who in October was removed from his post as head of the Limburg diocese, agreed to pay the penalty rather than face criminal charges. The case had arisen after the bishop filed a sworn affidavit denying that he had claimed to have taken a business-class flight to India; a journalist had taped the conversation in which the bishop made that claim.

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst has been under fire because of complaints of excessive spending on his residence. Last month the Vatican instructed him to leave the Limburg diocese, explaining that “a situation has arisen in which Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst cannot, at the present moment, continue to exercise his episcopal ministry.”


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