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Under-fire German bishop retreats to monastery

October 31, 2013

BERLIN (AP) — A German bishop removed from his diocese by the Vatican following a furor over the spiraling cost of his new residence has retreated to a monastery in Bavaria.

Pope Francis last week expelled Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from his diocese pending the outcome of a church inquiry into the residence, which cost 31 million euros ($43 million) — several times what was originally planned.

The Vatican hasn’t said how long he might be away but Limburg diocese officials say the inquiry’s work is expected to take until January.

Tebartz-van Elst’s whereabouts had been a mystery since the Vatican’s announcement. A Benedictine monastery in Metten, in southeastern Germany, said Thursday that he arrived there this week to spend a “spiritual time of recovery” of unspecified length.

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