Bishop of Bling gets new job with pontifical council

A new Church position has been found for the so-called Bishop of Bling from Germany

Pope Francis will reportedly appoint Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst to a new position with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.

There has been no official confirmation of the appointment, but it appears Bishop Tebartz-van Elst will be a “delegate for catechesis” for the pontifical council.

It seems the position has been created just for him.

He was reportedly told of his new role by the Vatican’s secretariat of state in December, according to a Vatican Insider article.

Last year, the Pope accepted the bishop’s resignation as Bishop of Limburg.

The bishop’s departure came after a Church report revealed spending approaching US$40 million on Bishop Tebartz-van Elst’s official residence and diocesan centre.

This saw the prelate dubbed the “Bishop of Bling” in the media.

At the time his resignation was accepted, a Vatican statement noted that the bishop “will be assigned a different position at an opportune time”.

Veteran Vatican correspondent John Thavis wrote that Bishop Tebartz-van Elst’s position at the new evangelisation council “will involve making contact with bishops’ conferences on issues involving religious education, which has been one of his areas of interest”.

Thavis also noted that “it struck some as odd that a bishop forced to resign for financial mismanagement would land any job in the Roman Curia”.

“All the more, in this case, because under the Curia restructuring plan being hammered out by papal commissions, the council for new evangelisation may well disappear sometime next year.”

However, parking problematic bishops in the Curia is a bit of a Vatican tradition, Thavis wrote.

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Zambia was removed from his diocese over faith-healing practices in 1983, but was brought to the Council for Migrants and Travellers as a special delegate.

And, in 2011, Portuguese Bishop Carlo Azevedo ended up in a newly created position of delegate at the Pontifical Council for Culture, following disagreements with the patriarch of Lisbon, Thavis noted.


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