As a concession to belt-tightening, the decision by a sybaritic German bishop to take a budget airline flight to Rome is looking like too little, too late.
The general opinion among Catholic officials and the flock of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is that rather than fly cattle class last weekend, the priest should have thought about his expenditure several years ago.
This might have stopped him spending 350,000 ($566,000) on walk-in wardrobes for his palatial home in the ancient town of Limburg near Frankfurt. It is this lavish expenditure that the man - known by locals as "the Luxury Bishop of Limburg" or simply the "Swanky Bishop" - came to the Vatican to answer for yesterday.
Limburg diocese officials have confirmed that last summer he spent 31 million renovating his residence.
Germany's 24 million registered Catholics make a compulsory contribution to the Church from their income tax. And some of them, angered by the decadence, staged protests outside the bishop's residence.