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Vatican hears about high-spending German bishop

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October 14, 2013 09:37 AM EST | AP


VATICAN CITY — VATICAN CITY (AP) — The head of Germany's bishops conference says the Catholic Church must act quickly to deal with a bishop under fire for lavish spending now that German prosecutors are involved in the case.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch is in Rome this week to brief Pope Francis on the diocese of Limburg, where Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has caused an uproar with the 31-million-euro ($42 million) construction of a new bishop's residence complex and related renovations.

Zollitsch told reporters Monday that the decision by Hamburg prosecutors to ask the court to fine Tebartz-van Elst for providing false testimony in a related case was a "decisive step." He said it wasn't for him to judge Tebartz-van Elst but that he was greatly concerned.