Vatican closes lap-dancing monastery

The Vatican has closed the doors of a famous Cistercian monastery in Rome after reports of financial and moral irregularities emerged in the Italian press.

The Santa Croce in Gerusalemme church, which dates from the fourth century, is being closed with immediate effect and its remaining monks will be moved to different monastic communities in Italy.

It is not the first time that the monastery has been in the news. Two years ago the community's abbot Simone Fioraso was moved after it emerged that the former Milan fashion designer had converted the crumbling church into a hotel and concert venue.

Sister Anna Nobili, a former lap-dancer and one of the nuns at the monastery, also hit the headlines after reports of her performing 'holy dances' during religious ceremonies which involved some Madonna (of the singing rather than the religious variety) -style crucifix wielding.

The bigwigs over at the Vatican were said to be none too pleased at these reports and following an internal investigation decided that it was time to close the doors on the controversial monastery.

'An inquiry found evidence of liturgical and financial irregularities as well as lifestyles that were probably not in keeping with that of a monk,' a Vatican spokesman told The Guardian.

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