Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is the “bishop of bling”

I just converted to Catholicism last spring, and one of the big arguments against the religion from some is that they don’t focus enough on the poor (conversely, some people will argue that they focus too much on the poor, which basically tells you that nothing is ever going to please everyone). For an example of the former argument, I give the Bishop of Limburg, who once took a first-class flight to visit poor people in India. He’s been suspended from the church now after dropping $42 million (I converted that to U.S. dollars, which is to say, the article did it for me) on renovating his official residence.

Prior to this situation, he seems to be best known for (a) his work with adult baptism and (b) recalling the dean of Wetzlar in 2008 for blessing a homosexual couple. The latter seems to fall in line with his perceived M.O.: he was a supporter of liberal causes but then shifted to a more reactionary ideology under Pope Benedict. I would assume, perhaps incorrectly, that a lot of priests did the same.

I don’t 100 percent understand this video, although I wanted to link it, if for no other reason than German is truly one of the oddest, and most oddly pleasant, languages in the world:

If you were curious about broader Catholic views on poverty and social development, this is a good resource. Here’s Jesus discussing poverty in the Book of Luke, and here’s nine quotes about the poor. Somewhat unsurprisingly, there’s no reference to millions worth of house renovations anyway in there.

Ted Bauer