Limburg inquiry gets underway

Bishop Elst

The auditing commission appointed by the president of the German bishops' conference to clarify the decisions behind the renovation of the bishop's palace complex at Limburg, has begun work, reports The Tablet.

The palace is at the centre of a scandal surrounding the lifestyle of the Limburg bishop, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who reportedly spent $40 million renovating it. The Pope has given the Bishop permission to be absent from the diocese.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch has chosen Bishop Manfred Grothe, 74, an auxiliary in Paderborn, to head the board of examiners. The board includes the director of finances in the Archdiocese of Freiburg and the head of the ecclesiastical court in the Archdiocese of Munich.

On taking up work in Limburg, Bishop Grothe said the auditing commission's task was 'anything but easy.' It was not only concerned with the cost dimension but would have to trace the decision-making processes and responsibilities.

Meanwhile, the new vicar general, Wolfgang Rösch, has taken over as diocesan administrator in Limburg. ''The bishop's time out is also a time out for the diocese. It will be my job to see to it that the administration goes on functioning,' he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He was under obligation to the Congregation for Bishops and to the Holy See but not to the Bishop of Limburg.

FULL STORY Limburg inquiry gets underway

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