Pope Francis has named a special envoy to curb commercialism and promote spirituality at the Sanctuary of Lourdes, according to French and Italian media.
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The move comes after a former Renault manager, placed in charge of the formerly loss-making Sanctuary in 2017, returned it to profit last year.
The manager, Guillaume de Vulpian, cut running costs and increased revenue, mainly from the sale of candles and a small increase in the contribution requested from groups of pilgrims.
Mr de Vulpian was appointed by Nicolas Brouwet, the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, who is normally in charge of administering the site.
The Pope has temporarily discharged Bishop Brouwet of the responsibility and placed Antoine Hérouard, Auxiliary Bishop of Lille, in charge of the Sanctuary.
The site, which includes the Grotto where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared to a 14-year-old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, in the 19th century, attracts millions of pilgrims each year.
There is no suggestion of financial impropriety or wrongdoing. However, the French conservative newspaper Le Figaro reported that the Vatican carried out a discreet investigation into the Lourdes shine in recent months after members of the clergy and pilgrimage group leaders raised concerns about Mr de Vulpian’s emphasis on balancing the books.
The former Renault human resources manager posted a profit in April last year after the Sanctuary had accumulated losses of €10 million (£8.9 million) over the previous 10 years.
"Pope Francis, who has this case very much at heart, wishes to accentuate the spiritual primacy over the temptation to overemphasise the managerial and financial aspect," the official Vatican News website said.
In a letter, the Pope said he wanted the Lourdes shrine to be "ever more a place of prayer and of Christian witness corresponding to the needs of the People of God.”
Vatican News stressed that the appointment of Bishop Hérouard as special papal envoy to the Sanctuary “is intended not as a permanent charge, but a temporary one, aimed at the pastoral and spiritual care of pilgrims.” It did not specify how long the bishop would remain in charge.