Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst's showy project set to cost £26m – 10 times initial estimates – including a €15,000 bathtub
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus advised his followers to "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven", but an influential German bishop has been accused of storing up treasures in his earthly residence instead.
Senior figures within the Roman Catholic church have called for the resignation of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the bishop of Limburg, after it emerged that the cost of a building project on his property in the town has ballooned to 10 times the original estimate.
The new building, described by some newspapers as "palatial", is expected to cost €31m (£26m) and features a standalone bath worth €15,000.
To add to Tebartz-van Elst's woes, he is now facing legal procedures for allegedly lying under oath during a legal row with a news magazine.
In 2012, Der Spiegel published an article claiming the clergyman had taken a first-class flight to India, en route to visiting poor children in the slums of Bangalore. Tebartz-van Elst had issued two affidavits denying the claims made by the magazine. On Thursday, Hamburg prosecutors asked a court to fine the bishop for providing false testimony.
The chairman of the German episcopal conference, Robert Zollitsch, announced he would discuss the high cost of the building project withPope Francis next week.
Written By: Philip Oltermann
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