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Reports: ‘Bishop of Bling’ lands new role at Vatican

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst (CNS)

The German bishop who resigned last year over allegations of lavish spending on his residence is to take up a new role at the Vatican, according to reports.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the former Bishop of Limburg, will begin his role as a delegate on catechesis at the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation in March, the National Catholic Register has reported.

Last year, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, who was alleged to have approved a $40 million building project in his diocese which included the remodelling of the bishop’s residence. The scandal led to him being dubbed the ‘Bishop of Bling’ in media reports.

The Vatican said at that time that Bishop Tebartz-van Elst would eventually be given another appointment but did not specify in what capacity. According to the National Catholic Register, a Pontifical Council official confirmed yesterday that the bishop had been appointed to his new role in December by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, on behalf of Pope Francis.

The news has not yet been officially confirmed by the Vatican but has also been reported by influential Catholic blogger John Thavis.