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Pope accepts resignation of Germany's 'bling bishop'

Published on Mar 26, 2014 7:38 PM
Pope Francis blesses the crowd during his general audience at St Peter's square on March 26, 2014 at the Vatican. -- PHOTO: AFP

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis has formally accepted the resignation of Germany's controversial bishop of Limburg, the Vatican said in a statement Wednesday.

Franz-Peter Terbartz-van Elst, nicknamed the "bling bishop" by the international media, had been under fire for his luxury lifestyle and was indefinitely relieved of his clerical duties by Francis last year.

The Roman Catholic bishop had faced outrage over an ostentatious building project at his official residence, which included a museum, conference halls, a chapel and private apartments, in the ancient town of Limburg in central Hesse state.

The project was initially valued at 5.5 million euros (S$9.4 million) but the cost ballooned to 31 million euros, including a 783,000 euro garden and a 15,000 euro bathtub - using the revenue from a religious tax in Germany.

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