September 23, 2013

Germany’s Limburg Diocese pledged “dialogue and transparency” after a former Vatican nuncio was sent to defuse complaints of extravagance against Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.

Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo met with Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, cathedral staff, local clergy and members of religious orders Sept. 13.

A diocesan spokesman, Stephan Schnelle, acknowledged that media reports about the prelate’s first-class flights and his luxuriously appointed new residence “has led to difficulties among priests and people here.

The bishop is aware of their concerns and wants to be in dialogue. He knows the importance of transparency in appeasing anxieties.”

In a Sept. 12 interview, Schnelle said local Catholics were “generally supporting” Tebartz-van Elst, 53.