The bishop's residence hit the headlines far beyond Germany's borders.
Trier / Limburg (kath.net/KNA) The future Bishop George Bätzing will not dwell in the Limburg bishop's residence, but work there. The current Vicar General of Trier said this on Sunday evening after his official acceptance of his new office in Trier, answering one of the most frequently asked questions in recent weeks. The residence on Cathedral Hill will be the official headquarters of the bishop, except for the living quarters, stressed Diocese spokesman Stephan Fast on request of the Catholic News Agency (KNA). The approximately six million euro home extends over two floors and comprises a total of 283 square meters. [Why no mention of Cardinal Marx's lavish dwellings?]
The bishop's residence made headlines far beyond Germany. [Cardinal Marx's did not.] A wave of indignation about the huge increase in costs of ultimately 31 million euros and the [alleged] concealment of these costs had significantly contributed to the resignation of Bätzing's predecessor, [the unjustly maligned] Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in March, 2014.
The private rooms, which had a been the cause of particularly large discussions, was "being considered for sensible and appropriate alternative uses", as in cooperation with the adjacent Diocesan Museum. In addition, the total of 1,750-square-meter building complex should continue to be used on Cathedral Hill for meetings, events and gatherings. The diocese stressed that the overall solution has now been found to make permanent use possible at no additional cost.
Bätzing who will be introduced on September 18, as bishop of Limburg will temporarily live in the original cathedral sacristy- and later sister's house on Cathedral Hill, which also belongs to the building complex.
More permanently the 55-year-old cleric would live in a nearby detached house. It was in this house, which is part of the diocese, that Limburger Bishop Walter Kampe had lived for many years and passed away in in 1998. Currently, Franz Kaspar (78) resides there, who was from Vicar General from 2009 to 2013 and one of the closest collaborators of Tebartz van Elst.
Even right after his appointment as bishop of Limburg by Pope Francis on July 1st, Bätzing who is currently Vicar General in Trier, was asked whether he would be eating in the bishop's house. At that time he had replied that he had not yet looked at the house, but the apartment would suit him. And because he had "a bit of doubt."
The diocese also announced it will provide Bätzing a leased Audi A6.[Nice touch. Why not a more humble VW or a Prius?]
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