You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Bishop’s spending at issue in Vatican

The Rev. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, bishop of Limburg, is meeting with  Vatican officials.

Associated Press/file

The Rev. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, bishop of Limburg, is meeting with Vatican officials.

BERLIN — A German bishop under fire for lavish spending traveled to Rome on Sunday for talks at the Vatican, church officials said, placing his future in the hands of a pope who has espoused a simple lifestyle.

Allegations of excessive spending by the Rev. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, bishop of Limburg, have stirred controversy among Roman Catholics in the country where Martin Luther launched the Reformation five centuries ago in response to what he said were church excesses and abuses.

Continue reading below

A spokesman for the diocese of Limburg, Martin Wind, told the German news agency dpa Tebartz-van Elst was meeting with church officials but gave no details. German media said he made the trip aboard a budget airline.

At the center of the controversy is the $42 million price tag for the construction of a bishop’s residence complex and related renovations. Tebartz-van Elst told the Bild newspaper the bill was actually for 10 projects and there were additional costs because of regulations on buildings under historical protection.

The controversy has split the 24 million-member Catholic community in Germany as the church struggles with diminishing numbers of followers. ‘‘It hurts me because of the impression that wasting money is a core feature of the church,’’ Julia Kloeckner, deputy chairwoman of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, said.

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
or
Please enter a valid email
BostonGlobe.com will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com