Pope Evicts 'Loose-Living' Monks
Monks hosted concerts starring prancing nuns
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2011 2:05 AM CDT
Updated May 26, 2011 3:15 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful from the window of his apartment during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican last week.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Some party-loving monks have been evicted from Rome's Santa Croce monastery by order of the Pope. The monks, whose abbey was attached to a church holding some of Catholicism's holiest relics, staged concerts featuring a lap dancer-turned-nun, hosted VIP guests including Madonna, and opened a hotel with a 24-hour limousine service, the Guardian reports. The monks are also believed to have amassed huge debts.

The monks' flamboyant abbot, a former fashion designer, was fired two years ago and a shop supposedly selling organic produce from the monks' garden was shut down amid accusations that they had secretly stocked it with produce from a local grocery. As part of the Vatican's crackdown on "loose living," the Cistercian monks—who had been based at Santa Croce for more than 500 years—will be dispersed to other churches around Italy. Pope Benedict XVI is also the bishop of Rome, so the monastery was part of his diocese.