‘Bishop of Bling’ forced to resign

‘Bishop of Bling’ forced to resign

UNLIKE so many other rogue priests within the Catholic Church, Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst hasn’t, as far as we know, sexually abused minors, so he isn’t being shifted to pastures new to freely re-offend. The Limburg bishop’s crime was, as far as the Vatican is concerned, far worse than child rape.

He exposed the obscenity of the Church’s wealth at a VERY inopportune moment,  just when Pope Frankie was embarking on  propaganda drive to  to convince the world that the RCC’s mission is to be a “poor Church, for the poor.”

Well, Tebarz-van Elst’s lavish spending put a dent the size of the Sistine Chapel in Frankie’s PR exercise, and this week the Vatican formally accepted his resignation,  called on the diocese of Limburg to accept the decision “with docility” and to work toward restoring a “climate of charity and reconciliation”.

I had to chuckle over that phrase “with docility”. The good folk of Limburg, if the carnival float above is anything to go by, are are turning cartwheels over his departure. With the the motto ‘Living like God in Limburg’ the float delighted crowds when it appeared at a parade March 3 in Mainz, Germany. (Photo Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images).

Meanwhile auxiliary Bishop Manfred Grothe has been appointed to run the Limburg diocese.

The Vatican did not further elaborate on the future of Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, but said he would get a new position “at the opportune time”.

But what job can possibly be given to this man, whose sole talent appears to be profligacy with dosh that isn’t his, and who clearly has a taste for the good things in life –  like a £176,000 fish tank; an advent wreath that cost £14,900; £1.43 million worth of  bronze window frames;  floors that cost £169,670;  a £141,530 spiral staircase and premium LED lights that cost £537,960?

In total, he spent over £24 million of the “poor” Church’s money on the renovation of his residence.

Over to you dear readers, for suggestions.

The most amusing one posted under this report between now and April 7 will in a copy of Mitchell Stephens’ recently published Imagine There No Heaven: How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World.Imagine

In this compelling hardback, published in February by Palgrave Macmillan, Stephens shows how various strands of non-belief have shaped Western civilisation.

From ancient Greece and Enlightenment Paris through to 19th century Britain and the present day, he shows how those who challenged the supernatural contributed to humankind’s greatest accomplishments, including the advancement of knowledge, the expansion of human rights, and the overall rise of learning and liberty on earth.

This is what Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Believing Brain, and The Science of Good and Evil said of Stephens’ book:

The only thing new about the New Atheists are the names.

As Mitchell Stephens reveals in this gripping narrative history of atheism, many brave souls have come out of the atheist closet over the centuries to challenge the religious dogma of their day, and many paid the ultimate price for so doing. We all stand on the shoulders of these giants so artfully brought to life—along with their ideas—in this important contribution to the burgeoning literature on unbelief.

There is also a glowing review of the book here.

Hat tip: Angela K and BarrieJohn (“Bishop of Bling” reports)

32 responses to “‘Bishop of Bling’ forced to resign”

  1. AshDev says:

    “docility” – that word shouldn’t even exist.

  2. David Lawson says:

    The thing I find amazing is that surely they have systems in place for such spending. I have to get purchase orders signed off by management before ordering. If I buy a ton of shit after management signed it off…should I have to resign for buying it? No, the meneher that authorized the payment should lose his job.

    In any case, I think he will hold the position that sheltered the child raping sexually repressed arsehole, previously held by Ratzinger…The head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith

  3. David Lawson says:

    Re-reading my last comment, with the word meneher, makes me sound like Manuel from Fawlty Towers

  4. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    The only positions that this person appear to be capable of doing are either filled (as pope he would be able to spend to his hearts content) or you have to be born into, i.e. an absolute monarch with a lot of money (think of oil rich arab monarchs).

    The only other comparable positions would be drug barons or russian mafia. As you have to be a criminal to do these jobs, he should be a shoo-in.

  5. Broga says:

    Full time companion to entertain Ratzi and they can reminisce together and have a laugh about how they conned the faithful and lived in luxury for so long.

  6. Broga says:

    I have just begun reading “Imagine there is no heaven” and come across the following quotation from Denis Diderot. It is so apt a comment on religion and its priests that I doubt I will ever find anything better:

    “Lost in an immense forest during the night I only have a small light to guide me. An unknown man appears and says to me: ‘My friend, blow out your candle so that you can better find your way.’ This unknown man is a theologian.”

    There is so much truth, so much penetrating insight, packed into these few sentences. And the lesson they contain is delivered within a story, a fascinating narrative. Worth repeating here, I hope you agree.

    Thanks Barry, for describing the book.

  7. @Broga: Not sure how accurate an analogy that is. Having been lost at night in overgrown areas before, I have found that you can actually see more without a light than with one, once your eyes have got used to the low ambient light levels. The small light you catty effectively blinds you to the subtleties of the shadows.

    So, a nice little soundbite but ultimately empty rhetoric.

  8. JohnMWhite says:

    I think it’s meant to be a metaphor, not a survival tip.

  9. tony e says:

    Unfortunately as a bishop he will be useless at any job based in the real world.

    Given a talent for spending other peoples money I’m sure he will turn up in the future related to some Ponzi scheme.

  10. sailor1031 says:

    Broga; Ratzi already has a full time companion; remember gorgeous Georg who used to “lift the Rattenfaenger’s luggage” and then moved in with Ratzi after Ratzi retired? But I’m sure they can find a post for van Elst at the Vatican Bank – heading up the Mafia liaison desk!

  11. 1859 says:

    ‘Lost in an immense forest in the night I decided to sit still and wait for the sunrise and daylight.In the morning, walking through the undergrowth, an unknown man appeared. Introducing himself as Barry Duke, he said,’I know, I know, life’s a real bitch. Instead, why don’t you become a freethinker? You’ll see it makes a big difference.’ And with those words, he disappeared back into the tangle of trees. So as night fell I again curled up to sleep under the branch of a large tree determined to become a freethinker. In the morning, when I opened my eyes, the forest had disappeared! I’d done it! There was no way, no path before me because I could now see exactly where I wanted to go – a pub called The King’s Arms.’

  12. charlie says:

    Barry, thanks for pointing me to this book, it is now on my “must buy” list.
    As to the bish, he’ll land on his feet no doubt. Even poop Frankie will not give him any real punishment. I like the idea sailor1031 had, let him be the guy who takes care of the mafia account at the vatican bank (not using a capital C on purpose, yeah, I do NOT respect any part of the vile RCC). IF he got involved in some ponzi scam, other than the RCC which is THE biggest SCAM of all, that doesn’t make much sense to me. Folks who get caught running the ponzi scams often go to real jail, sometimes for many years. No, he won’t be letting himself open to that. I do think he’ll get some sweet job in or near Rome and close by either Frankie or old Bennie.

  13. Stephen Mynett says:

    The RCC loves ripping people off and taking money under false pretences. How many must have been duped into giving money which they thought was going to help the sick and dying when, in reality, the Albanian poison dwarf was using it swell the Vatican coffers while the sick and dying were left to a miserable and agonizing end, the filthy bitch even refused them pain killers despite having, potentially, better access to medicines than most in that city.

    The whole church is without shame and sentiment.

  14. OurSally says:

    Actually he always looked quite spiffy in his purple and gold gear – he could get a really good job advising monsignors and despots around the world on how to do conspicuous consumption with style.

    Think how much better Gaddafi would have come over if he’d just had a personal stylist with taste.

  15. barriejohn says:

    OurSally: As I’ve said before, Gaddafi must have modelled himself in later years upon Andy Kaufman’s wonderful Tony Clifton. Were Gaddafi and Kaufman ever seen in the same room together? (Just a thought!). But the King of Bling was Bokassa:

  16. Broga says:

    It is, of course, a metaphor. The book is written with a persuasive clarity and some of the examples of comments from BCE have as much force today as they had then. I have long liked Carpe Diem as a philosophy and reading the comments supporting this are a pleasure.

  17. The Hon. Robert Mugabe says:

    I could do with some PR. If he could contact me please.

  18. Dog Gone says:

    This is on top of the big hoo hah over the use of the Vatican bank to launder huge amounts of money – trillions of euros apparently.

    The amounts of money laundering put the simple waste and abuse to ……..shame, if I can use that word appropriately in this context.

  19. Broga says:

    @sailor1031: a timely reminder. I had forgotten about Gorgeous George. The Vatican Bank does seem to offer opportunities. Could a post combining money, luxury and sex be created?

  20. Henry Villar says:

    Who knows, but maybe the liquid cocaine at the vatican was for the housewarming party.

  21. Maybe he’s taking the philosophy “you can’t take it with you when you go” to a new level — by squandering as much as he possibly can while alive.

    But look at it like this. A fishtank costing £176,000 can’t be made in a day. Consider how many honest artisans he kept in employment manufacturing it. Think about how many people it must have taken to sew that advent wreath together. How much work there must have been in making those bronze windows / doors. If we must have trickle-down economics, then at least this way the wealth *is* trickling down.

    Although economics works better by paying more to those on the bottom, because they’re the ones who will actually be doing all the spending.

  22. charlie says:

    @Matt Westwood,
    Here in the (not very) old US of A, trickle down economics works like this; the rich piss on the working class and poor and tell us it is raining.
    You are correct in that the bish did keep some talented people working.

  23. … the entrepreneur grabs a bucket, holds it over his head, then when it’s full, sells lemonade.

  24. Cardinal Mittelfinger von Vogel-Flipper says:

    “… what job can possibly be given to this man …”?

    Unfortunately, it’s unclear whether job suggestions must be confined to the Bishop’s current line of work as a Catholic clergyman OR may include other new & exciting career opportunities.

    In hope that either the latter category DOES qualify or that my suggestions in fact DO fit within current Catholic Church job categories, here are a few humble submissions:

    – “Decorator-to-the-Catholic-Stars,” specializing in extremely high-end Cathedral Moderne and Vestry Vivante styles of home decor.

    – Spokesperson for a new chain of restaurants (with possible expansion to frozen foods) called either Catholic Kitchens OR, if his current title can be cleared for use, Bishop’s Best — requires the use of his name and likeness in TV, web and print ad campaigns i.e. “If it weren’t the BEST, I’d spit it out!”

    – (Most obvious of all) Game Show Host ! Who better to counsel the timid, console the unlucky and celebrate the holy chosen few than an old man in a dress and a funny hat?

    (More to come when/if I’m again inspired by God …)

  25. Paul Cook says:

    I heard recently on the BBC that of Franky they say he has done more to stamp our paedophilia than any one else.

    I will believe that when I see the RCC reduced to a staff of about three people.

    They are just out of control. The easiest place for a criminal to hide is in the open.

  26. barriejohn says:

    His expenditure was just chicken feed. Abuse cases have cost the American church $2.74 billion since 2004!

  27. John says:

    I think the good Bish should become a missionary. Preferably somewhere with lots of horrible tropical diseases. With any luck, a quick brush with Franz Elst ought to permanently put off any potential recruit. Hell, he might even deconvert some people when they realise that he represents the true mission of the catholic church: the accumulation of wealth, power and willing cronies! Yes, I think he’d be a very good fit.

  28. Barry Duke says:

    A conclave of atheists has decided that Cardinal Mittelfinger von Vogel-Flipper’s suggestion was the most amusing, and he wins our prize of a copy of “Imagine There’s No Heaven”.

    Congratulations, your holiness!