Vatican crackdown at Rome's Playboy Mansion-style monastery

Lapdancing nuns, 'lifestyle irregularities' uncovered


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. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Microsoft's do-it-all IDE Visual Studio 2022 came out late last year. How good is it really?

    Top request from devs? A Linux version

    Review Visual Studio goes back a long way. Microsoft always had its own programming languages and tools, beginning with Microsoft Basic in 1975 and Microsoft C 1.0 in 1983.

    The Visual Studio idea came from two main sources. In the early days, Windows applications were coded and compiled using MS-DOS, and there was a MS-DOS IDE called Programmer's Workbench (PWB, first released 1989). The company also came up Visual Basic (VB, first released 1991), which unlike Microsoft C++ had a Windows IDE. Perhaps inspired by VB, Microsoft delivered Visual C++ 1.0 in 1993, replacing the little-used PWB. Visual Studio itself was introduced in 1997, though it was more of a bundle of different Windows development tools initially. The first Visual Studio to integrate C++ and Visual Basic (in .NET guise) development into the same IDE was Visual Studio .NET in 2002, 20 years ago, and this perhaps is the true ancestor of today's IDE.

    A big change in VS 2022, released November, is that it is the first version where the IDE itself runs as a 64-bit process. The advantage is that it has access to more than 4GB memory in the devenv process, this being the shell of the IDE, though of course it is still possible to compile 32-bit applications. The main benefit is for large solutions comprising hundreds of projects. Although a substantial change, it is transparent to developers and from what we can tell, has been a beneficial change.

    Continue reading
  • James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its new home – an orbit almost a million miles from Earth

    Funnily enough, that's where we want to be right now, too

    The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex space observatory built by NASA, has reached its final destination: L2, the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, an orbit located about a million miles away.

    Mission control sent instructions to fire the telescope's thrusters at 1400 EST (1900 UTC) on Monday. The small boost increased its speed by about 3.6 miles per hour to send it to L2, where it will orbit the Sun in line with Earth for the foreseeable future. It takes about 180 days to complete an L2 orbit, Amber Straughn, deputy project scientist for Webb Science Communications at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said during a live briefing.

    "Webb, welcome home!" blurted NASA's Administrator Bill Nelson. "Congratulations to the team for all of their hard work ensuring Webb's safe arrival at L2 today. We're one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. And I can't wait to see Webb's first new views of the universe this summer."

    Continue reading
  • LG promises to make home appliance software upgradeable to take on new tasks

    Kids: empty the dishwasher! We can’t, Dad, it’s updating its OS to handle baked on grime from winter curries

    As the right to repair movement gathers pace, Korea’s LG has decided to make sure that its whitegoods can be upgraded.

    The company today announced a scheme called “Evolving Appliances For You.”

    The plan is sketchy: LG has outlined a scenario in which a customer who moves to a locale with climate markedly different to their previous home could use LG’s ThingQ app to upgrade their clothes dryer with new software that makes the appliance better suited to prevailing conditions and to the kind of fabrics you’d wear in a hotter or colder climes. The drier could also get new hardware to handle its new location. An image distributed by LG shows off the ability to change the tune a dryer plays after it finishes a load.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022