German diocese to sue bishop for 3.9 mn euro

Berlin, July 23 (IANS/AKI) The Catholic Church’s diocese of Limburg in western Germany wants 3.9 million euros in damages from its former bishop, who built a mansion that put the diocese in debt, a media report said on Thursday.

“Manfred Grothe, the administrator appointed by the pope, has submitted demands for material compensation a number of times,” diocese spokesman Stephan Schnelle was cited as telling German daily Bild.

“Now the pope has to decide,” Schnelle added.

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, dubbed ‘the bling bishop’, was removed from his post after he built himself the lavish residence that included a two-seat, 15,000 euro bathtub and bronze window frames.

The construction project ended up costing 31.3 million euros – far over its original 5.5-million-euro budget – and incurring the diocese a 3.9 million euro loss.

Bild says that is the sum the diocese wants to be compensated for.

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