World

Pope who wants church for the poor hears first-hand about outcry over high-spending bishop

  • Dark clouds hang over the residence of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, Bishop of Limburg, in Limburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, currently at the Vatican to meet pope Francis, is accused of wasting money to refurbish and rebuild the residence for more than 31 million euro ( 42 million dollar). (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Dark clouds hang over the residence of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, Bishop of Limburg, in Limburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, currently at the Vatican to meet pope Francis, is accused of wasting money to refurbish and rebuild the residence for more than 31 million euro ( 42 million dollar). (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)  (The Associated Press)

  • People watch the residence of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, Bishop of Limburg, in Limburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, currently at the Vatican to meet pope Francis, is accused of wasting money to refurbish and rebuild the residence for more than 31 million euro ( 42 million dollar). (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    People watch the residence of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, Bishop of Limburg, in Limburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, currently at the Vatican to meet pope Francis, is accused of wasting money to refurbish and rebuild the residence for more than 31 million euro ( 42 million dollar). (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis, who has said he wants a church for the poor, has been briefed about a scandal in Germany involving a bishop's 31 million euro ($42 million) residence and renovation project.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who heads the German bishops' conference, met with Francis Thursday. He told reporters afterward that he hopes the outcry will soon calm down and that a solution ensuring a "good future for all" will be found. He acknowledged the church's credibility — especially concerning its work for the poor — is an important consideration.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Germany's Limburg diocese caused the uproar with the lavish construction of a new bishop's residence complex and related renovations.

He has been in Rome this week, but it's not clear if he met with Francis.