• Germany edition
 
'Bling bishop' blew €213,000 on a fish tank
Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. Photo: DPA

'Bling bishop' blew €213,000 on a fish tank

Published: 27 Mar 2014 12:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Mar 2014 12:02 GMT+01:00

The 108-page report into extortionate spending at the Bishop of Limburg's headquarters was published by the leadership of Germany's Catholic Church on Wednesday.

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst handed in his resignation to Pope Francis the same day. He had been suspended in October after details of his spending emerged.

Despite unrelenting media attention and being summoned to answer to Pope Francis in Rome last October, he only officially offered a statement on Thursday.

In it, Tebartz-van Elst admitted his handling of the role was “in many respects a disorderly, unfocused and primarily a personally-driven management position”.

Yet he then claimed that the reported total costs were inaccurate.

He argued that his out of control spending was a result of other construction projects he had seen go wrong.

As soon as it began, he felt he needed to “observe the quality and the durability of the entire project”. His spending choices should have been overseen by his deputy, Vicar General Franz Kaspar, but he maintained they were not.

"As I am not an authority in the area of church management, as my qualification is in pastoral theory, I have to relinquish the responsibility to Dr Kaspar who was [according to the report into the spending] 'the only person with an overarching view of the seat's assets'."

The Limburg diocese in central Germany said on Thursday it was looking towards a new beginning.

But it added filling Tebartz-van Elst's position would not be easy, due to a lack of suitable candidates in the Catholic Church.

Below are some of the most lavish aspects of the bishop's spending.

Fish tank: A tank for ornamental fish with a depth of two metres cost €213,000.

Hanging an advent wreath: After the chapel was completed, Tebartz-van Elst decided he wanted a fixture fitted allowing him to hang an advent wreath from the ceiling. To do this, the chapel roof had to be opened up again and a crane deployed - at great expense. The commission said they were not able to tell exactly from the available documents how much this building work had cost but believed it to be €18,000.

Bronze window frames: The window budget, originally €910,000, was almost doubled to a whopping €1.73 million after Tebartz-van Elst decreed that they be fitted with bronze window frames.

Floors: €205,000

Spiral Staircase: €171,000

Light switches: €20,000

Stone facades: €730,000 - Natural stone facades were added to many of the interior walls and ceilings in the main building. The raw materials alone cost €108,000, the labour a further €275,000.

A further €344,000 was spent lining the roof and the facade of the chapel with natural stones.

Heated stones: €19,000 - Outdoor paths were built with electrically heated stones.

Furniture and joinery (excluding doors): € 1.15 million

Doors: €490,000

Bathroom: €37,000

Decor and artwork: €1.17 million

Premium LED lights: €650,000 - Special LED lights were fitted in floors, walls and windows.

CLICK HERE for photos of the project

SEE ALSO: 'Bling bishop' resigns from Limburg role

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany's estate agents plan strike action
Photo: DPA

Germany's estate agents plan strike action

First it was the pilots, then train drivers - now Germany's real estate agents are threatening to go on strike. But their call to arms has been met with sneers rather than sympathy. READ  

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails
Ralf-Werner arriving in court last week. Photo: DPA

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails

An insurance salesman who sawed off his own finger and thumb to claim insurance was given a suspended sentence by a court in northern Germany on Friday. READ  

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq
Kurdish demonstrators at a rally in Düsseldorf in October. Photo: DPA

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq

Germany finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At home, police must investigate anyone who flies the flag, but in the Middle East they are the best hope of beating back the Islamic State. READ  

Quiz
Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?
Walpurgis Night in the Harz. Photo: DPA

Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?

Germany is home to a plethora of haunted castles and has a huge stock of gruesome stories. How well do you know the spooky side of the Germans? READ  

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years
Photo: DPA

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years

German shoppers cut back on their spending in September at the fastest rate for seven years, official data showed on Friday. READ  

Fall of the Wall - 25 years
'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'
Engels at the spot where he drove through the Wall and in hospital in 1963 after being shot. Photo: Nick Allen/Fotoarchiv Alex Waidmann Berlin

'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'

There are many of tales of ingenious and well-thought out escape plans from people desperate to flee from East to West Berlin. Wolfgang Engels’ wasn’t one of them. It was, however, one of the most daring. READ  

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes
Pupils used WhatsApp to share messages which are police are investigating. Photo: DPA

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes

Police are investigating pupils at a school in Saxony-Anhalt for incitement of the people and use of banned symbols after teenagers allegedly made the Hitler salute. READ  

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school
Representatives of the refugees at a press conference last week. Photo: DPA

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school

An ultimatum for the remaining refugees and their supporters to leave an occupied school in Berlin, which has been the scene of protests for months, will expire at midnight on Friday. READ  

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal
Photo: DPA

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal

The European Union will "fully play its role" to implement the gas deal signed by Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement. READ  

Body scanners to come to more airports
Photo: DPA

Body scanners to come to more airports

Passengers at German airports can expect a controversial full body scan in the future. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles from British Airways
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Want to study in Germany? These are the subjects to choose
Photo: DPA
Society
Germans are wide of the mark on immigration
Photo: DPA
Society
Halloween: Where are the spookiest spots?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Who wants to work in Germany? A third of the world
Photo: DPA
Society
'We can't allow a proxy war on German streets'
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: How well do you know Germany?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,539
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd