In 1994 after criticism from both inside and outside the church, a German bishop abandoned plans to move into a villa worth DM1 million, acquired for her by the church and for which she would have paid DM1,800 per month. The issue flared up at the height of attacks on the levying of church tax.
It is hypocritical for religions to advocate poverty when visibly there is a tendency on their part to acquire large landholdings and palaces and for the priesthood to dress in costly vestments. The argument that such property is held by the collectivity and not by any one person appears weak when such persons derive full benefit from that property for life.
It has long been an accepted practice in many religions for the faithful to bequeath property and other legacies to established religions. Many religions have orders in which the vow of personal poverty is strictly practised.