Pope who wants church for the poor hears first-hand about outcry over high-spending bishop

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, who has said he wants a church for the poor, has been briefed about a … Continued

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, who has said he wants a church for the poor, has been briefed about a scandal in Germany involving a bishop’s 31 million euro ($42 million) residence and renovation project.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who heads the German bishops’ conference, met with Francis Thursday. He told reporters afterward that he hopes the outcry will soon calm down and that a solution ensuring a “good future for all” will be found. He acknowledged the church’s credibility — especially concerning its work for the poor — is an important consideration.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Germany’s Limburg diocese caused the uproar with the lavish construction of a new bishop’s residence complex and related renovations.

He has been in Rome this week, but it’s not clear if he met with Francis.

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