Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany's richest, publishes accounts revealing $3.8 billion fortune

The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cologne has published accounts showing the full extent of its wealth for the first time.

Documents posted on its website Wednesday show Germany's richest archdiocese had assets of 3.35 billion euros ($3.82 billion) at the end of 2013.

Some 2.4 billion euros were invested in stocks, funds and company holdings. A further 646 million euros were held in tangible assets, mostly property. Cash reserves and outstanding loans total about 287 million euros.

In 2013, the archdiocese received 573 million euros from church taxes paid by the 2 million Catholics living in the region around Cologne, famous for its Gothic cathedral.

The publication was prompted by criticism of Germany's Catholic Church in the wake of a recent scandal over the former bishop of Limburg's lavish spending.