November 4, 2013

Pope Francis has authorized a leave of absence for a German bishop at the centre of controversy over expenditures for his residence and diocesan centre.

“A situation has been created in which Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst currently cannot exercise his episcopal ministry,” said a statement Oct. 23 from the Vatican press office.

Pope Francis has authorized “a period of leave outside the diocese,” effective immediately, the statement said.

The bishop has been at the centre of controversy for months over the remodeling and building project in Limburg, which is estimated to have cost about $40 million.