Feeds

Vatican crackdown at Rome's Playboy Mansion-style monastery

Lapdancing nuns, 'lifestyle irregularities' uncovered

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

A controversial monastery in Rome – the scene of performances by lap-dancing nuns and "lifestyles that were probably not in keeping with that of a monk" – has been closed down on the orders of the Pope.

The Santa Croce in Gerusalemme basilica, home to nuns and monks of the Cistercian order, is one of the oldest and most prestigious complexes of the Catholic Church and dates from the 4th century. It is thought to house important relics from the Holy Land. However in modern times it had been allowed to fall into disrepair.

That all changed some years ago when a new and flamboyant abbot, former Milan fashion designer Father Simone Fioraso, took charge. He renovated the buildings and opened a luxury hotel at the site, which reportedly became a popular haunt for celebrities and Italian aristocrats, and held high-profile events including regular concerts and a televised Bible-reading marathon.

A major attraction of the basilica was apparently the "holy dances" performed by the nun Sister Anna Nobili, a former lap-dancer, and other nuns taught by her. Nobili's routines reportedly featured her lying spread-eagled before an altar clutching a crucifix, or undulating passionately in the fashion of a pole dancer.

The saucy Sister has reportedly performed for many high-ranking church dignitaries including Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican cultural department. Other patrons of Santa Croce have included Madonna, who prayed there in 2008.

The monks of Santa Croce have been in trouble with the Supreme Pontiff since 2009, when Father Fioraso was busted from his position as abbot (and presumably despatched to a hardship posting on a remote island off the Irish coast). Investigators from the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life moved in, and delivered their sealed report in March – one so sizzling that it will never be released to the public.

The Vatican has now confirmed that the monks and nuns will all be transferred to other posts and that Santa Croce will now operate solely as an ordinary church, not a monastery.

The enquiry "found evidence of liturgical and financial irregularities as well as lifestyles that were probably not in keeping with that of a monk," Father Ciro Benedettini told the Guardian. There's also BBC coverage here. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.