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Pope Francis asks Bishop of the German Diocese of Limburg to leave the Diocese until investigations about misuse of Diocesan Funds are completed

The Holy See issued a communique on Wednesday to notify the faithful of the diocese of Limburg in Germany of the withdrawal of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst until an investigation into allegations related to the misuse of diocesan funds is completed. The bishop is accused of spending too much money on building his residence and offices. The communique reads: the Holy Father has been continually informed in detail and objectively on the situation regarding the diocese of Limburg. A situation has arisen in the diocese in which Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst cannot, at the present moment, continue to exercise his episcopal ministry. The German Catholic Bishops' Conference, in accordance with an agreement between the bishop and the Chapter of Limburg Cathedral, has constituted a Commission to carry out a detailed examination of the matter regarding the building of the bishop's residence. Pending the results of this examination and of an analysis of who takes responsibility for the matter, the Holy See authorises Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst to stay out of the diocese for a period of time. By the decision of the Holy See, the Dean of Limburg, Fr. Wolfgang Rosch, is today, October 23rd, 2013, appointed Vicar General of Limburg and will administer the diocese during the absence of the diocesan bishop, within the sphere of competence associated with this office.


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