Pope Removes German Bishop For Lavish Spending

$42 million residential complex project at issue

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Arne Dedert / AFP / Getty Images

Limburg's Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst during a church service at the Cathedral in Fulda, central Germany Sept. 24, 2013.

Pope Francis has temporarily removed a German bishop from his diocese amid a national scandal over his $42 million project to build a new residential complex.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of the diocese of Limburg will be replaced until a church commission finishes its investigation into the expenditures, the Vatican said Wednesday. The allegations have sparked outrage in a country with a church tax that supplies the church with billions of dollars a year, the Associated Press reports.

Tebartz-van Elst has said the cost of the development included 10 separate projects, with additional costs linked to regulations of buildings under historical protection.