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'Bishop Of Bling' Mansion May Become Refuge For Poor

This panoramic image (a composite of 9 photographs) shows part of the exterior of the bishop's residence in Limburg, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes
/
Getty Images
This panoramic image (a composite of 9 photographs) shows part of the exterior of the bishop's residence in Limburg, Germany.

That mansion in Limburg, Germany, where about $40 million was spent on renovations for the since-suspended cleric now known as the "bishop of bling" may soon be "turned into a refugee centre or a soup kitchen for the homeless," according to reports from The Independent and other European news outlets.

We posted last Wednesday about Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst and the decision by Pope Francis to remove Tebartz-van Elst from his post at least temporarily. As we wrote:

"Tebartz-van Elst earned his unflattering nickname after reports surfaced that close to $40 million has been spent on work at his home and offices — about eight times what had been expected. He also, as National Catholic Reporter writes, allegedly made false statements in court about that work."

According to the Whispers in the Loggia blog, among the "big-ticket" expenditures at the mansion were "$475,000 [spent] on walk-in closets and $20,000 [for] a bathtub."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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