11:31 24 October 2013
Pope Francis, who has previously urged priests to live simply, has suspended Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the Bishop of Limburg, after he allegedly spent £2.47m on his private residence.
The Vatican said: "The Holy See deems it appropriate to authorise a period of leave from the diocese for Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst."
There were also calls for his resignation after it was found that his residence was six times more expensive than the planned amount.
Reports confirmed that his private quarters in new diocesan building included a £12,800 bathtub and a 63sq m dining room. This was paid for using the revenue from a religious tax in Germany.
Meanwhile, the 53-year-old bishop said that the renovation included ten different projects. He also said that regulations on buildings under historical protection required additional costs. However, this seems to be not enough for churchgoers who staged demonstration outside his residence.
Local Catholic Raimund Champert said: "Such prestige projects simply don't fit with Catholicism.”
"The Church, like the Pope, has a responsibility to be humble and lead by example. We are not in the Middle Ages any more."
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