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Bishop Bling Formally Fired by Pope Francis

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” Matthew 23:23a

The so-called Bishop Bling, a German Catholic Bishop who we highlighted late last year for spending an incredible $43 million of church money on renovations to his housing complex in Limburg Germany, was permanently removed from his post last week by Pope Francis. He had offered his resignation in October 2013 and has been under investigation by the Vatican ever since. The issue was particularly sensitive in Germany since citizens pay a church tax which is used to support the country’s churches. The Associated Press reported he will be replaced by Bishop Manfred Grothe, who stated Bishop Bling (whose real name is Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst) will be given another position “at the opportune time”. It will be interesting to see where Bishop Bling lands and whether he has learned from his downfall. Indications are he has at least figured out Pope Francis is focusing on helping the poor, given he sat in the economy section of the airplane he took to Rome to try to explain his actions to the Vatican.