A German Catholic bishop was once dubbed the "Bishop of Bling" for spending church funds on first-class air travel and extravagant renovations to his bishop's residence. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the former Catholic bishop of Limburg in Germany, ordered renovations to his residence, including heated outdoor stones and bronze window panes, that reportedly cost nearly $43 million. In 2013, Pope Francis removed Tebartz-van Elst from the exercise of his episcopal office and a year later accepted his resignation as bishop of Limburg.
Now some are accusing Washington's Cardinal Donald Wuerl of living a similarly lavish lifestyle. According to a report by the website churchmilitant.com, Wuerl resides in a Washington, D.C. penthouse atop Our Lady Queen of the Americas church on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C. Coincidentally, the residence is valued at the same amount that Tebartz-van Elst was spending to renovate his home: $43 million.
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Wuerl's posh living arrangements in D.C. are similar to those he enjoyed for 20 years as head of the Pittsburgh diocese. That home reportedly included a wine cellar, six-car garage, fine art, Oriental rugs and antiques.
Ironically, Cardinal Wuerl is seen as a close ally of Pope Francis, whose humble and simple style has been at the heart of his appeal to many Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Daniel Allott is deputy commentary editor for the Washington Examiner