'Free-spending' German bishop in Vatican for talks
German government says bishop's case of great concern14 October, 16:16
Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the bishop of Limburg, arrived in Rome on Sunday and headed to Vatican City for meetings concerning reports that his spending on renovations to his residence was excessive.
The case seemed especially sensitive given Pope Francis's emphasis, since becoming pope in the spring, on simple and frugal living.
Tebartz-van Elst was expected to discuss his situation on Monday with the head of the German Bishops Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who has already written a letter to Pope Francis on the issue.
It was not clear if Tebartz-van Elst would meet with the pope while in Vatican City.
The BBC has reported on its website that Tebartz-van Elst - dubbed the "Luxury Bishop" - is facing calls for his resignation after spending 31 million euros on his residence.
He is also accused of lying about the property.
A commission has reportedly been established to investigate the case, including who approved what renovations and in what amount.
Zollitsch said he would like conclude the matter very quickly.
In Berlin, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the situation was of great concern in the diocese.
The bishop is also in hot water concerning a lawsuit against German newsmagazine Der Spiegel over an earlier article about his spending.