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

(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.

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)
Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims upon his arrival in St Peter's square at the Vatican, on May 18, 2011 for his weekly general audience.   (Getty Images)
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An inquiry 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,
a Vatican spokesman

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