The Vatican has accepted the resignation of a German bishop who was at the centre of controversy over expenditures for his residence and a diocesan centre, reports the Catholic News Service.
Following a diocesan investigation, the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops studied the audit's findings and accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg. Auxiliary Bishop Manfred Grothe of Paderborn was appointed to serve as apostolic administrator of Limburg in the meantime, the Vatican announced yesterday.
Bishop Tebartz-van Elst would be assigned 'at a suitable moment' another unspecified assignment, the Vatican statement said. It said the Vatican accepted the Bishop's offer to resign 'given that a situation exists in the Diocese of Limburg which prevents the fruitful exercise' of his office.
In Germany, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the Bishops' Conference, said the resignation would 'end a period of uncertainty' in the Limburg Diocese. He told a Berlin news conference that he believed Bishop Tebartz-van Elst's case had been handled 'fairly and transparently' by the Vatican and German Church.
'It was a major concern that all arguments should be placed on the table, and that everyone involved, including the Bishop, should play their part in an independent report as the basis for a balanced decision,' said Cardinal Marx, whose remarks were carried by Germany's Catholic news agency, KNA.
'Our Church is now well on its way to ensuring greater transparency and increasing its credibility again,' he added.
Bishop Grothe told the news conference that the situation involving the Limburg bishop had 'hurt many people.' He said he would 'carefully and prudently reappraise what happened' and ensure 'the path to a new beginning,' as administrator of the Limburg Diocese.
Vatican accepts resignation of prelate dubbed ‘Bishop of Bling’ (The Catholic Herald)