Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ANALYSIS: Why Pope Francis fired ‘Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst

The news that Pope Francis fired — or “accepted the resignation of” — the German churchman known as “Bishop Bling” because of his big-spending ways has touched off speculation among Catholics that other dismissals could be in the offing.

Here’s the answer in four words: Perhaps, but probably not.

Recent history shows why: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., remains in office 18 months after his conviction — and $1.4 million spent on his defense — for failing to report a priest suspected of abuse. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony enjoys a high-profile retirement in spite of the disapproval of his own successor over Mahony’s abuse record. Similarly, Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly of Boston, is still living a gilded existence in Rome years after he was plucked from the U.S. amid the clergy abuse scandal.

Not to mention Newark, N.J., Archbishop John Myers, who heads his diocese amid questions about his handling of abuse cases as well as pricey additions to his upscale retirement home.

Financially speaking, “Bishop Bling,” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany, was in a league of his own: He spent some $43 million on a luxurious new residence and office complex while cutting staff.


Washington Post

By David Gibson | Religion News Service, Updated: Wednesday, March 26

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