VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis held crisis talks on Thursday on the fate of Germany’s “luxury bishop” who is under intense pressure to resign for spending some 31 million euros ($42 million) on an ultra-luxurious residence.
The pope, who has tried to set an example of austerity by renouncing the spacious papal apartments for a small residence in a Vatican guest house, held talks with Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German bishops’ conference.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg in western Germany has stirred anger and calls for his resignation among German Catholics and media over huge cost overruns on his residence at a time when Pope Francis is stressing humility and serving the poor.
“All sides are interested in finding a good and rapid solution so that the situation in the diocese of Limburg can be settled and we can find a way out of this difficult situation,” Zollitsch told reporters after his meeting with the pope.
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