Only a very few people on this earth will ever get a punishment handed down to them by the central governing body of the Catholic Church. One of those people is bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst a.k.a. the "bling bishop" who was suspended by the Vatican on Wednesday for, among other things, spending $20,000 on his bathtub. Tebartz-van Elst, as the AFP reports, first got into trouble after it was reported that he purchased a business-class ticket to fly to India, which led to some digging into his other extravagant purchases.
"His private quarters in a new diocesan building are reported to have cost some 2.9 million euros ($3.9 million) and included a 63-square-metre dining room and a 15,000 euro bathtub — using the revenue from a religious tax in Germany," the AFP reported. This, of course brought up accusations that Tebartz -van Elst was squandering money, abusing his position, and basically living like a Kardashian. This luxurious spending goes against Pope Francis's aim to make the Catholic Church a "poor church that looked after others" after Pope Benedict's tenure was marred by financial corruption scandals and controversy.
Tebartz-van Elst flew on a low-cost airline to his meeting with Pope Francis on Wednesday, but that didn't save him from being put on leave. "The Vatican didn't say Wednesday if Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst would permanently leave the diocese of Limburg. But it said Limberg's newly named vicar general, Monsignor Wolfgang Roesch, would administer the diocese during Tebartz-van Elst's 'period of time away,'" the AP reports.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.