Pope 'to leave spendthrift bishop in post'

(ANSA) - Vatican City, October 23 - Pope Francis will keep a German bishop accused of being a spendthrift in his post but will send him away from his diocese for a time, German newspaper Bild said on Wednesday.

The bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, has been accused of spending 31 million euros on extensive renovations to the complex of the bishop's residence, triggering the ire of many inside his diocese.

He met earlier this week with the pope and while details of that meeting have not been released, Bild said on its online edition that Tebartz-van Elst will keep his job but will not be allowed to return to work immediately.

According to the newspaper, the sabbatical will take effect immediately.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the president of the German Bishops' Conference, had earlier written a letter about the matter to the pope.

A commission has reportedly been established to investigate the case, including who approved what renovations and in what amount.

The bishop has also been accused of lying in the matter.

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