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Pope accepts resignation of bishop who 'embezzled' more than €100,000 from woman with dementia

by Sophie Drew
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The pope has accepted the resignation of a German bishop found guilty of embezzling more than €100,000 (£88,000) from a woman with dementia. 

Auxiliary Bishop Johannes Bündgens was sentenced to nine months in prison and a €5,000 (£4,400) fine by a German court, according to CNA Deutsch. 

The 66-year-old transferred around €128,000 (£112,592) from his personal bank account after the elderly woman gave him power of attorney. During his trial, he argued that the money was in exchange for a lifelong "right of residence" in his Aachen property.

However, it is believed she was unable to fully consent to the arrangement due to her illness. 

The bishop - who was consecrated in 2006 - has returned the money to her family. 

The initial verdict was delivered in July 2022; Bündgens then appealed the outcome.

His appeal was later withdrawn. 

In October, he submitted his resignation request to the Holy See. After being accepted by the pope, the announcement of his resignation was made on Tuesday, via the Apostolic Nunciature. 

"It is good for all parties that the pope has made a swift decision," Bishop Helmut Dieser said in a statement.

"Personally, I very much regret that the past years have led to this development."

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