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A medieval message of humility for Bling Bishop, 500 years later

October 24th, 2013
08:09 AM ET

By Lucky Gold, CNN

Imagine a world where a medieval message of humility and reform is delivered five centuries later.

From the moment he first appeared on the Vatican balcony, Pope Francis has challenged his fellow priests to put aside the trappings of wealth and power.

Whether washing feet at Eastertide or carrying his own bag and driving his own little car, the pope has walked the talk.

On Wednesday he made another kind of statement, by suspending a German bishop whose personal excesses had earned him the nickname ‘The Bishop of Bling.’

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has been under fire – not only in Rome, but in his own diocese of Limburg, a place famous for its redolent cheese.

This time, the stink in Limburg emanated from the $42 million the bishop spent renovating his palatial residence.

To protest their bishop's lavish lifestyle, angry parishioners linked arms outside his door, and even posted a reminder of another German priest who railed against the Church of his day.

In 1517, Martin Luther launched the Protestant Reformation when he nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. They condemned the excesses of Rome and the corruption of the priesthood.

Almost 500 years later, Pope Francis has emphatically delivered his own message: That he and his church want priests, not princes.

Filed under:  Catholic Church • Imagine a World • Latest Episode
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Kweminyi Humphrey

    Not late yet Bishop of Rome(the prefecture of the Pope), if those of old had done several centuries ago, would probably still have a far less split church today maybe...but this (the action of the Pope) to a fundamentalist christian still demonstrate that it could be long, but God still raises those who answer the questions His children have asked Him! Good for the Pope, good for the universal catholic church! I have learnt that the world is still very concerned about its church no matter how it seems it (the world) has risen against it because the response to the Pope's response has been really plausible.

    October 24, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply
  2. Julius

    The cheese is from Limburg in the Netherlands, not from Limburg, Germany...

    October 24, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • John Hillman

      No surprise that Amanpour does not do proper research and just assumes things. Any one that assumes (ass+u+me) anything old "Mumble Mouth" says is true deserves to be deceived by her "reports"

      October 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  3. Paco Pinto

    This is only a marketing campaign to bring more people to church and get more money,

    October 24, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • RosaVear

      That is absolutely asinine what you just said... instead of looking at the simplicity and beauty of this Pope you have nothing but dark words... feel sorry for you and those like you.

      October 26, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  4. ashok

    An inspired choice for Pope, a man of simplicity, who sets a fine example for the faithful.

    October 24, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
  5. Mary Hurley

    A good thing, but what is wrong with the reporter. What an odd tone of voice. It is like she is reading a story to a 5 year old.

    October 24, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • hecep

      Sure looks that way. And each sentence stands alone, almost as if the writer was outlining notions for several different paragraphs, but never got around to actually filling out the story..

      October 26, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
  6. Agwuja Emmanuel A.

    Which ever way, people will still criticise. Godly will continue to be Godly. God bless the Pope and direct His ways, IJN.

    October 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  7. Terri B.

    Thanks for the laugh, but you really should research your subject a bit more....Limburg, Germany is not famous for the cheese.

    October 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  8. ken wisdom

    wolf in sheep's clothing. Francis should scrap gold,diamond, silver etc. off Vatican walls first.

    October 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  9. Joe

    Ironically the highly-praised Martin Luther's movement has resulted in more grandiose mega-wealthy mega-church ministers than any religion in the history of mankind. It's always fun to jump on the Catholic-church bashing band-wagon, but this is one isolated incident that's being addressed.

    October 26, 2013 at 9:09 am | Reply
  10. RosaVear

    People are quick to judge and to take on the Catholic church, yet, years in and years out the Pope that have been picked have been very good ones and with the Holy Spirit... i am glad this Pope Francis is showing to the world he is above the innuendos and the malicious reporting by the media and he concentrates on the spirituality of his flock and how to spread the word of God to as many as want to hear it... God has a way of finding leaders for His people all people...

    October 26, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
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