Vatican won't open proceedings, examine compensation claims against German 'bling bishop'

Germany's Limburg diocese says the Vatican won't open church law proceedings or examine possible compensation claims against its former bishop, removed by Pope Francis amid a scandal over his 31 million-euro ($35-million) new residence.

The diocese said earlier this year that it had raised the issue with the Vatican, though it didn't file any formal complaint against Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. It said Thursday that the head of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, informed the diocese's interim administrator of the decision during a meeting in Rome.

Francis permanently removed Tebartz-van Elst from Limburg last year, finding that he could no longer exercise his ministry there.

That followed a controversy centering on the spiraling cost for the construction of a luxurious new bishop's residence complex and related renovations.