Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst gets some distance from his diocese in an uproar over overspending and perhaps and overbearing style of governance.
Pope Francis didn’t remove him permanently, but people are skeptical the so-called Bishop Bling could return.
Franz-Josef Bode, bishop of Osnabrück, said the pope had made a “smart” decision which gives all concerned time to review the situation calmly. But in comments to the German newspaper Die Welt, he cast doubt on Tebartz-van Elst ever returning to Limburg.
“There is a fundamental crisis of confidence in Limburg. The situation there is a mess,” Bode was quoted as saying.
I think there’s a theological point to be made about a bishop being connected to his diocese, and permanently. I’ve harped on careerism quite often here. It’s not really a popular point among Catholic conservatives or liberals–each camp hopes its own, however their “own” are perceived, will move up or forward or something.
Liam has commented on Rome’s tendency to allow bishops to clean up their own messes, so long as something essentially theological isn’t transgressed. What do you do with a $40M building project essentially finished? Give it to the poor? Deconstruct it? Ask him to melt down the gold and silver and give the money back?
How long is a good leave? Hopefully the final decision isn’t just put off.