Pope meets with German 'luxury bishop'

Pope meets with German "luxury bishop" amid outcry over his high-priced residence renovation

Associated Press
Pope meets with German 'luxury bishop'
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People watch the residence of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, Bishop of Limburg, in Limburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, currently at the Vatican to meet pope Francis, is accused of wasting money to refurbish and rebuild the residence for more than 31 million euro ( 42 million dollar). (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has met with a German bishop whose 31 million-euro ($42 million) building renovation has scandalized Germany.

The Vatican gave no details about Monday's meeting with Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, bishop of Limburg.

Last week, the head of the German bishops' conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, briefed Francis on the scandal. He told reporters he hoped the outcry will soon calm down and that a solution ensuring a "good future for all" will be found.

The pricey renovation has resonated in Germany, home of the Protestant Reformation, where a church tax brings in billions a year to the German Catholic Church.

Tebartz-van Elst has defended the renovation, saying it involved 10 different projects and that there were additional costs because of regulations on buildings under historical protection.

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