Bishop ousted by Pope Francis dies, another off hook

A bishop ousted from a diocese in Paraguay by Pope Francis has died in Argentina from complications related to diabetes.

Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, 69, resigned as the ordinary of Ciudad del Este diocese last September, but the Holy See never specified why.

The resignation came after an apostolic visitation of the diocese arranged by Rome a few months earlier.

There had been controversies over financial and spending decisions as well as the bishop’s appointment of a vicar-general who had been accused of molesting seminarians elsewhere.

The priest in question denied the allegations and the case was eventually settled.

After Bishop Livieres Plano resigned, US$1million in debt came to light.

Bishop Livieres Plano, a member of Opus Dei, asserted he had been “persecuted” for his orthodoxy by liberal parishioners and fellow bishops.

Asuncion Archbishop Edmundo Valenzuela told The Associated Press a group of Paraguayan clergy recently visited Bishop Livieres Plano in Buenos Aires.

“Happily we were able to say goodbye to our brother Rogelio” before he died, said Archbishop Valenzuela.

Meanwhile, a German newspaper has reported that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst won’t have to pay any compensation to his former Limburg diocese.

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, who became known as the “Bishop of Bling” because of reports that he had authorised more than US$34 million in spending on his residence and other diocesan building projects, resigned in 2014.

In July, the Limburg diocese disclosed that it was seeking more than US$4 million in compensation from him for aspects of the spending.

However, a news report in Bild stated that Pope Francis has decided that the German bishop will not be required to repay expenses over the diocesan budget.

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst is now living in Rome, working on catechetical affairs for the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation.


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