Feeds

Vatican crackdown at Rome's Playboy Mansion-style monastery

Lapdancing nuns, 'lifestyle irregularities' uncovered

Eight steps to building an 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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
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
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.