Religion

‘Bishop Of Bling’ Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst Used Charity Money For Headquarters

| by Khier Casino

A Catholic bishop is under fire again in connection with lavish spending on his residence in Hesse, Germany.

Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, 54, who has been dubbed the “Bishop of Bling” by critics, was suspended by Pope Francis in October 2013 over a scandal involving a project to build a new residence complex that cost 31 million euros ($42 million).

According to The Local, a church investigation into the spending, which included 350,000 euros on wardrobes, is expected to be published within the next few days.

However, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday that Tebartz-van Elst diverted and funneled millions of euros from a charitable foundation for his headquarters.

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The construction project was partly funded by St. Georgswerkes, a religious charity for poor families and children.

Founded in 1949, but is now defunct, St. Georgswerkes helped large families with many struggling children.

Der Spiegel magazine reported last week that funds from at least one charitable foundation were used.

According to the Süddeutsche, the costs of the headquarters could now be closer to 40 million euros and may result in a criminal investigation into Tebartz-von Elst.