Pope Francis has removed Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst-- also known as the Bling Bishop-- from his Limburg, Gremany diocese post, due to what the Vatican said was a situation "in which the bishop can no longer exercise his episcopal duties."

Relax. The altar boys are safe.

Apparently the Bishop has been squandering money from a religious tax in Germany on a lavish lifestyle, including a business-class trip to India, and building himself a new $42.7 million private headquarters, which includes a museum, conference halls, chapel, 65-square-yard dining room, $1 million garden, $523,868 in furnishings, and a $21,000 bathtub.

I had no idea Germany had a "religious tax". But it seems this was a good reminder that many European countries do, including Austria (where it was originally started by Hitler), Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. This is leaving out entanglements in places like the United Kingdom, where the queen is head of church and state alike.

For all its violations and imperfections, I am glad to live in a country where by Constitutional mandate, Church and State have walls of separation between them. It's amazing to me that so many Americans deny that or actually want to change that.

Tags: Bishop, Bling, Church, Constitution, Germany, State, US, religious, tax

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A $21,000 bathtub...cleanliness IS next to godliness.

If this were true, would a Bishop ever need a bath?

Have you ever hold a sweating child? That smell is almost impossible to remove.

Or thirty kids in a hot bus with milk-breath.

This made me think of a book I am reading: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.  I know that Catholicism and Scientology are different, but they seem to have similar issues with their leaders being able to humbly handle power and money.  I don't know which is worse. 

Some of the prominent figures in Scientology make the Bling Bishop seem like a small-time wannabe.  

Some of the prominent figures in Scientology make the Bling Bishop seem like a small-time wannabe. 

You weren't kidding.

Scientology leader David Miscavige and celebrity Scientologists live in a 520-acre complex in California known as Gold Base, a heavily guarded compound which comprises about 50 buildings surrounded by high fences topped with razor knives and watched around the clock by patrols, cameras and motion detectors.

Up to 1,000 members of the Sea Org, the elite "inner core" of the Church of Scientology, live and work on the base. Staff members are paid $50 for a 100-hour week, and face a ban on having children, using vehicles, censored mail, monitored phone calls, needing permission to have Internet access, discipline through isolation or manual labor, and physical violence from Scientology executives. About 100 people a year try to escape, but most are caught and returned by "pursuit teams". Law enforcement investigations and lawsuits against the Church have been thwarted by the First Amendment's guarantees of religious freedom and the Church's ability to rely on "ministerial exemptions" in employment law. The Church denies any mistreatment.


Church leader Miscavige has a customized Yamaha motorcycle to ride around the base, along with a Mazda Miata roadster, a Range Rover luxury SUV, a high-performance BMW M6, and a custom-made armored GMC van equipped as a mobile office. Miscavige's food costs between $3,000 and $20,000 weekly, with food flown in fresh from the East Coast or Canada. His villa has a $150,000 sound system and private screening room. Miscavige is also a dog lover. His five dogs wear Sea Org uniforms and hold the rank of Captain. Staff are required to salute the dogs as they pass by. On April 30 each year, staff are encouraged to donate their back pay to buy a birthday present for Miscavige. One year he was given a $70,000 motorcycle; in other years, he received diving equipment, high-end cameras and Italian shoes. Church spokesman Tommy Davis says of the staff "it was the least they could do to express their affection."

And that's just the tip of the iceberg of Scientology's horribleness, at least according to that book.  I just got to the part where Tom Cruise got together with Katie Holmes and I had to put it down for a while.  I remember him on Oprah.  It's one thing to be a rich movie star, but it's another thing entirely to have brainwashed Scientology members training his cleaning staff at his Telluride property how to polish the light bulbs one time a month.

Every bad thing I've ever heard, and more, about Scientology seems to be true.  It makes me sick.

'Express their affection'.

A similar statement was made during a tour of Ragnesh Puram I took part in 1983. Someone with our Social Psychology field trip asked the question, 'so why does the Bagwhan need so many (?) BMW's?'. The Answer, 'the Bagwhan is our beloved, would you not desire to give presents to your beloved?' We did think that about 36 might have been enough. What was not asked was the question, 'So why does the Bagwhan need a SUV following him with a group of armed men, and what appear to be automatic weapons?'

For 'enlightened beings', it seem that a literal 'love bomb' would be enough.

Atleast these folks don't need to wear rose-colored glasses to get around. 

Is vanity not a sin, if it is then why did the pope not nail him for that as it goes to the heart of what a church is meant to be about - the immortal soul ( imagine I said "immortal soul" in tones dripping with scorn and loathing ).

Is vanity not a sin, if it is then why did the pope not nail him for that as it goes to the heart of what a church is meant to be about - the immortal soul ( imagine I said "immortal soul" in tones dripping with scorn and loathing ).

I think trading your private palace for a private rectory, or leaving your job as Cardinal for a job as Archpriest, is what counts as a "nailing" in the Catholic Church. The latter is filed under 'Cardinal Bernard Law'.

I just opened a discussion about this, then I saw yours. I deleted that one and I'll just copy what I wrote there to here:

Seriously? How can even a single person on Earth still believe these incredible fucking conmen? I mean the magnitude of evil going on here could give a Satan a boner for a week.

How long must this shit have been going on until the new pope decided to be a turd in the punchbowl and ruin this catholic's hedonistic lifestyle? How many more of these asshole are there? This one caught attention because he spent $55 mil, but how many of them just spend a little less and get away with it?

The only reason the pope even suspended this douchebag was because he stole from the church. Had he raped some kids in his house instead the pope wouldn't even care. Who am I kidding, he probably did that too.

Wow.

"This is how big of an asshole I am"

I had something witty to say, but it would hardly do justice...

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