Hamburg, Germany — The so-called "luxury bishop" or "Bishop Bling" of Limburg agreed to pay a fine of 20,000 euros rather than contest charges that he perjured himself before the Hamburg District Court.
The court press office announced Monday that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had paid the fine, which is about $27,000. Hamburg prosecutors had charged him with lying to the court in a case involving the magazine Der Spiegel.
The bishop had sued for an article alleging he had flown first class on a trip to India for charity work when he told a Der Spiegel reporter that he flew business class. Although the bishop denied he said he flew business class, the reporter had a recording of his words.
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Pope Francis ordered Tebartz-van Elst to leave the diocese of Limburg pending a separate investigation into allegedly exorbitant expenditures for his residence and diocese center. A commission appointed by the German bishops' conference is conducting an audit of the project.