This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Bishop accused of a luxury lifestyle

The main news item on the BBC, and elsewhere, today has been the case of the German Catholic bishop, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who has apparently been suspended for living a luxurious lifestyle, considered inappropriate by the new St Francis-inspired Church.

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst

The bishop: note the expensive painting, when a photo of his cat would have been more suitable.

In vain did the bishop offer to accept a cheaper lifestyle, by selling off the more lavish parts of his name (a Peter Tebartz van, low mileage) and calling himself simply Franz Elst.

camel and needle

The Pope's favourite painting in the Vatican museum.

Other bishops may also expect trouble. For example, Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, lives in expensive accommodation in central London, and he has been advised that it would be better if he lived in a bedsit in Tower Hamlets and walked in to work every day. Excuses that "it's handy for my Cathedral" are just unacceptable in this day and age.

Conry the builder

Kieran Conry oversees the construction of a new "Pease Pottage Stately Pleasure-Dome".

Meanwhile, the Anglicans were similarly embarrassed, after it was revealed that their supreme governor, Mrs Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, 87, was living in a luxury palace in London. However, it turns out that apart from her religious duties, she has a part-time job ruling the UK - and various other countries - and so the "Anglican in the pew" does not pay directly for her lavish lifestyle.

Pope Francis himself is interested in demonstrating his fidelity to the spirit of his mentor, St Francis the First, by cutting out all luxury and living on crusts of bread and any kitty-kill that the Vatican cats bring in. So far his experienced adviser, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, has dissuaded him from doing this, not least because he himself doesn't fancy joining the Pope in a diet of vole sandwiches.

Pope dressed as fireman

Pope Francis exchanges his costly zucchetto for a simple helmet.


  1. Darling eccles - will everyone haev to live like comedy deacons - and do lots of twitter attacks on orthodox Catholics? The spirit of VII surely demands at least that" xx Jess

  2. They're all living on Peter's Pence in The Vatican now. The Vatican Bank is known locally as The Vatican't Bank. Laundering is even done by hand these days.

    1. LeonG.

      How totally politically-incorrect it is for you to mention The Vatican Bank, and Laundering, in the same breath.

      One decade of the Oxfam Book of Good Causes, please.

    2. Well, Mr Z I never noticed that! What a coincidence.

  3. On 'Something Understood' (BBC R4 Sunday very early and/or very late) + Kieran was interviewed whilst in a wine bar and supping from a cup - and revealed to be the wine critic for The Tablet!

  4. "Kentucky diocese agrees to $120 million settlement" for sexually abusive clerical predators" - wasn't that more lascivious a lifestyle? Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles lied and lied and lied until he had to turn over the secret documents. How much did he cost the church in his lie-shiverish style? Go for it Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.

  5. These post-conciliar popes certainly have headwear fetishes - I've got scores of files with these guys wearing anything but their proper attire. They have become crass-dressers.

  6. Word is that Pope Francis is selling off the Casa Sanctae Marthae and moving to an efficiency apartment in an EUR high-rise.

    It is to be hoped that the Renault is up to the daily commute...given that Roman public transport is worse than that of Buenos Aires.

  7. I live in a Doss House overlooking Monte-Carlo, and have difficulty understanding what this fuss is all about.

    Should I move to Brixton in order to be considered Catholic ?

    Please advise.