A German cardinal warned that the number of Catholics leaving his country's church is "alarmingly high" and urged an end to "scandals and vexations" involving clergy.
Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst
NCR Today: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's Roman apartment will be about 10 times bigger than Pope Francis' home once renovations are completed.
Bye-bye, "Bishop Bling." The so-called "Francis effect" may be real, at least when it comes to clerical housing, and could be coming to a church near you.
Pope Francis met Friday in a closed-door meeting with the German churchman known as "Bishop Bling," Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, whose extravagant and expensive lifestyle cost him his job.
Tebartz-van Elst, 54, spent more than $40 million of church money renovating his home in Limburg, Germany. He became a worldwide phenomenon, in part because his lifestyle clashed so sharply with that of Francis, known for living in spartan and humble surroundings and for preaching restraint and austerity.
Analysis: The news that Pope Francis fired "Bishop Bling" has touched off speculation among Catholics that other dismissals could be in the offing.
Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who had reportedly spent approximately $43 million on a new residence and complex in his German diocese.
The so-called "luxury bishop" or "Bishop Bling" of Limburg agreed to pay a fine of 20,000 euros rather than contest charges that he perjured himself before the Hamburg District Court.
The court press office announced Monday that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had paid the fine, which is about $27,000. Hamburg prosecutors had charged him with lying to the court in a case involving the magazine Der Spiegel.