‘Luxury bishop’ pays fine in perjury case

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst

December 2, 2013

The so-called “luxury bishop” or “Bishop Bling” of Limburg, Germany, agreed to pay a fine of 20,000 euros rather than contest charges that he perjured himself before the Hamburg District Court.

The court press office announced Nov. 18 that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had paid the fine, which is about $27,000.

Hamburg prosecutors had charged him with lying to the court in a case involving the magazine Der Spiegel.

The bishop had sued for an article alleging that he had flown first class on a trip to India for charity work when he told a Der Spiegel reporter that he flew business class.

Although the bishop denied that he said he flew business class, the reporter had a recording of his words.

Pope Francis has ordered Tebartz-van Elst to leave his diocese pending a separate investigation into allegedly exorbitant expenditures.