(THE GUARDIAN) — Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the "bling bishop" of Limburg, has been temporarily suspended from his post by the pope. In a statement released on Wednesday, the Vatican said it had been confronted with a situation in which Tebartz-van Elst "could not follow his duties as bishop" and had decided to allow him "some time outside the diocese". A final verdict on the bishop's future is expected after the completion of an internal investigation into the Limburg building project.
During his suspension Tebartz-van Elst will be replaced by vicar-general Wolfgang Rösch. According to the German news service dpa, the suspension would last for two to three months – but the Vatican press office said it could not comment on the accuracy of this claim.
Tebartz-van Elst has been under fire since an estimated cost of €31m (£26m) for the building, described by some newspapers as "palatial", emerged this month. In addition, he is facing legal action for allegedly lying under oath about a first-class flight to India in a row with the news magazine Der Spiegel.
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