October 23rd, 2013
02:10 PM ET

Vatican suspends German bishop amid spending investigation

By the CNN Belief Blog Editors
[twitter-follow screen_name='CNNBelief']

(CNN) - The Vatican said Wednesday it has suspended a German bishop who has come under fire for his extravagant lifestyle.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-Van Elst is under investigation for his spending after his residence in Limburg, Germany, was renovated for $42 million.

The Vatican says Tebartz-Van Elst cannot carry out his ministry as long as the investigation in ongoing, and he's been ordered to stay outside his diocese.

Coined the "Bling Bishop," Tebartz-Van Elst, who is known as theologically conservative, has denied any wrongdoing, saying the cost overruns on the renovation are legitimate because surrounding structures had to be protected, including the old city wall.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Europe • Germany • Money & Faith • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (680 Responses)
  1. no religion


    November 5, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  2. Ehsan

    He is a smart guy.. He figured out that the whole Christianity is a big lie anyhow.. so lets enjoy the money while you can...

    November 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Tony

      After you die, tell that to Jesus.

      November 5, 2013 at 2:52 am |
  3. Ehsan

    Christianity is the biggest lie in the history of mankind....

    November 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • observer

      The author has received incredible flack from the apologists of the organized cult religions. I consider that to be a badge of courage and honor. Obviously, she has got the goods on them and it hits them where it hurts the most, their pocket book and livelihood. The apologists know that Acharya has exposed them for the frauds they are, but all she has done is tell the truth and they think its hell. Reviewer

      November 2, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
      • observer

        apologists have no idea who she is

        November 3, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • observer


      November 2, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  4. mzh

    Surat (Chapter) Luqmān (Luqman):
    31:1 – Alif, Lam, Meem.
    31:2 – These are verses of the wise Book,
    31:3 – As guidance and mercy for the doers of good
    31:4 – Who establish prayer and give zakah (obligatory charity), and they, of the Hereafter, are certain [in faith].
    31:5 – Those are on [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.
    31:6 – And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.
    31:7 – And when our verses are recited to him, he turns away arrogantly as if he had not heard them, as if there was in his ears deafness. So give him tidings of a painful punishment.
    31:8 – Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds – for them are the Gardens of Pleasure.
    31:9 – Wherein they abide eternally; [it is] the promise of Allah [which is] truth. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
    31:10 – He created the heavens without pillars that you see and has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with you, and dispersed therein from every creature. And We sent down rain from the sky and made grow therein [plants] of every noble kind.
    31:11 – This is the creation of Allah . So show Me what those other than Him have created. Rather, the wrongdoers are in clear error.

    Verse 31:6 talks about those who preaches to take human away from worshipping One True God (pure monothiestic) and those who purchases their stories to be misguided are the same... the one who purchases these stories are not being forced but they are purchasing by their free wills that human will be judged for this 'free will' that how they have used this 'free will' when it comes to The Creator OR Creators...


    October 29, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • yoozyerbrain

      sigh...so sad. Where to start...?

      Mzh, your crapulous spuming has the same foundational reality as Where's Spot, but you weren't taught to fear Sally (Spot's mom) since birth. If you had been taught that your above screed would be filled with Sallyisms. See, none of it serves humanity. God is not necessary for being and doing good, but god comes in handy when you want to separate and demonize, doesn't it. God, therefore, is evil. A+B=C, just yoozing my god-given braims here.

      As for the bishop, having the obscenely rich catolic church at odds with him seem incongruous. The bishop is just following the example set by his organization. Keep giving him money, he's just doing what all superst ition-mongers have done since the dawn of time. It's a tried and true system sanctioned by the holy book itself. Along with slavery and murder among other things. Same with the koran mzh, just a bunch of anti human, anti American lies. Have fun, though...

      Take away religion and would you ever hold up your newborn son, look at his peni s and say, hmmm, that's gotta go...? Only religion can make you think the perverse is normal.

      November 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • yoozyerbrain

        Sally: "That god, he hasn't eaten his supper yet! Where can he be?
        Is he in the closet? Nooooo
        Is he in the basket? Nooooo
        Is he under the stairs? Noooo
        There he is, under the carpet? Nooo that's a turtle!
        Is he in the clouds? Nooooo
        Is he out in space? Noooo
        Is he behind the big bang? Noooooo

        There he is, he's in the closed mind! God, come out and eat your kibbles!"

        From "Where's Spot", updated by Yoozyerbrain

        "God is an ever-receeding pocket of ignorance" ....someone smarter than Yooz.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  5. cedar rapids

    what do you mean if?

    October 29, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  6. cedar rapids

    like rain dances change the weather

    October 29, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  7. aldewacs2

    That first picture of the 'bishop' makes me think of George Carlin's ".. but he loves you!" quote.
    Not sure why but I think it's the gesture.

    October 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  8. truthprevails1

    Yes it does, it makes an otherwise normal brain stop functioning properly and makes one a very lazy person unable to take responsibility for ones own actions. Learn to think for yourself instead of using imaginary monsters to do it for you.

    October 28, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  9. JJ

    You Catlicks are a strange bunch of sheep.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • EX Catholic

      They are not sheep but instead some other farm or wild animals from the jungle.

      October 27, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • AJ

      At least we can spell.

      October 30, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  10. Lamb of Dog

    Religion is more concerned with looking good rather than doing good. Look at how many mega churches exist. The Audio/Video equipment being used today is extremely expensive.
    Why help the poor when you can see yourself on the big screen in HD.

    October 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  11. Michael

    The cost to demo it and use the money to help the poor is a better choice.
    How many lives can a building help even a beloved one?

    October 26, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  12. Kebos

    I hope Bishop Tebartz-Van Elst got receipts!

    October 26, 2013 at 5:58 am |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-Van Elst reminds me so much of Liberace ... on SO many ways ...

    October 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Akira

      Spot ON! I wondered who he reminded me of....

      October 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • saggyroy

      I thought of Pagliacci [sic]

      October 26, 2013 at 7:19 am |
  14. niknak

    More proof, (not like we needed any more), of how religion is just a business created to separate the gullible from their hard earned money.

    There has never been a more successful Ponzi scheme than religion.

    But go ahead and keep getting fleeced, you mindless believers.
    The scammers need to eat too, I guess.

    October 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • AE

      My religion is not a scam. We give and help more than we take and harm.

      October 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • ?

        AE but of course you realize you are in good company, every jesus freaking cult/sect says the same thing and of course you are all right, ridiculous.

        October 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • niknak

        That is what all the fools who gave to the Bakers said too.

        Look, I will never say that all of the people who are involved with religious organizations do so out of personal gain.
        Some really do good work and do it out of nothing but their own satisfaction of helping others.
        Catholic nuns are a good example.

        Here is my question to you ArtificalEvidence, why can't you do this without having some big brother that you are trying to curry favor with?
        Why can't you religious people just be stand up guys and gals because you want to be that way?
        Why does there have to be some supernatural "power" in the picture?

        October 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • AE

          – Here is my question to you ArtificalEvidence, why can't you do this without having some big brother that you are trying to curry favor with?

          There is not big brother I'm trying to curry favor with.

          – Why can't you religious people just be stand up guys and gals because you want to be that way?

          I can't speak for all religious people, but I know they can. Some decide to come together to help others. We have a shared interest and can do more as a group than as individuals.

          – Why does there have to be some supernatural "power" in the picture?

          I never said there had to be.

          My church is definitely not a Ponzi scheme or a scam. We are good for my neighborhood, city, country and world.

          October 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Kebos

        One doesn't need religion to give more than one takes.

        October 26, 2013 at 5:59 am |
        • yoozyerbrain

          It's my contention that if you remove the supersti tion organization and just teach ethics from birth, the same or maybe even a greater percentage of people will, by their nature, do good works. Superst ition is not needed to bring people together to help others. In fact, supersti tion organizations that try to help people usually bring their strings-attached reality that ultimately harms more than it helps.

          People doing good because it's their nature is more real and profound than people doing good out of a supernaturally propelled feeling of guilt or fear, because there is no vested interest, just someone doing good.

          Teaching supersti tion as fact to children is child abuse, pure and simple.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Science

        Hey AE you might want to read this ...............the CON.

        Biggest CON under the sun

        How shameless Christian con artists took over the GOP

        by Amanda Marcotte posted on October 28, 2013 01:15AM GMT

        Conservative politicians are exploiting their voters the same way some church leaders exploit believers

        October 28, 2013 at 7:45 am |
      • Now that's just stupid...

        afterall, i would hope so

        November 28, 2013 at 3:38 am |
  15. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    For my bro LL ~

    I smoke two joints in the morning
    I smoke two joints at night,
    I smoke two joints in the afternoon
    and it makes me feel alright
    I smoke two joints in time of peace
    and two in time of war
    smoke two joints before I smoke two joints
    and then I smoke two more

    October 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      👿 🙂 👿

      October 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • Born2BModerated

        those are some seriously bloodshot eyes there LL

        October 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          😳 🙁 😳

          October 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Toke a big spliff of some good sensimilla....

      October 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  16. Betty

    I guess this story takes the place of the Belief Blog's traditional Halloween story.

    October 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Born2BModerated

      I'll summarize the comments you're missing:
      A: Pagan turd!
      B: Your bible is a lie!
      A: You'll burn in hell for rejecting jesus!
      B: Priests like boys too much!
      A: *random bible passage taken out of context*
      B: won't someone think about the children?!?!?
      A: Your kids don't need all that sugar! You are a bad parent!
      B: *contradicting bible quote from a different translation*

      October 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

        You're a towel!

        October 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Born2BModerated

          screw you guys.
          i'm going home.

          October 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Vic

      tThat's it, I am wearing Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-Van Elst Halloween mask next Thursday! LOL!

      October 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        I have to admit it, the bishop is scary.

        October 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Just wait until next week for the annual Samhain piece.

      October 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  17. Lionly Lamb

    Real eyes
    Real lies

    Love let us
    Love lettuce
    Lettuce love
    Let us love

    October 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Most people think,
      Great god will come from the skies,
      Take away everything
      And make everybody feel high.
      But if you know what life is worth,
      You will look for yours on earth:
      And now you see the light,
      You stand up for your rights. jah!

      Get up, stand up! (jah, jah! )
      Stand up for your rights! (oh-hoo! )
      Get up, stand up! (get up, stand up! )
      Don't give up the fight! (life is your right! )
      Get up, stand up! (so we can't give up the fight! )
      Stand up for your rights! (lord, lord! )
      Get up, stand up! (keep on struggling on! )
      Don't give up the fight! (yeah! )

      October 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Born2BModerated

      Let's all do one of these letter things!
      I'll start:

      Mole Station

      October 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bottle in front of me
      Frontal Lobotamy

      October 26, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  18. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Father Maxi: Well, maybe we could change the law to say that it's okay for a priest to have sex...with women.
    Congregation of Cardinals: Ahhh! Rabble rabble rabble rabble!
    Gilgamek Cardinal: The Gilgamek vagina is three feet wide and filled with razor sharp teeth. Do you really expect us to have sex with them?
    Father Maxi: Right, maybe we should forget about the Gelgameks for right now.
    Gilgamek Cardinal: Forget about the Gelgameks?!
    Gilgamek Cardinals: Ahhh! Rabble rabble rabble rabble!

    October 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.