Pope evicts 'loose living monks'
The Pope has acted to oust "loose living" monks who staged concerts featuring a lap-dancer-turned-nun.
The Vatican is evicting about 20 monks from Rome's Santa Croce monastery which hosts some of the church's holiest relics, reports The Guardian.
"An inquiry found evidence of liturgical and financial irregularities as well as lifestyles that were probably not in keeping with that of a monk," said Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman.
"The church remains open but the monks are awaiting transfer."
The monks' days have been numbered since 2009, when the Vatican sacked their flamboyant abbot, Father Simone Fioraso, a former fashion designer.
Fioraso had built up a cult following among Rome's fashionable aristocratic crowd as well as celebrity worshippers such as Madonna, who prayed at the church in 2008.
VIP guests were encouraged to stay at a hotel opened at the monastery which offered a 24-hour limousine airport service, according to La Stampa newspaper.
In 2009 Anna Nobili, a nightclub dancer who became a nun, performed her "holy dance" before an audience including Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican's cultural department.
For her performance Nobili, who says she uses dance as a form of prayer, lies spread-eagled in front of the altar clutching a crucifix or twists and turns as in pole-dancing routines.
Santa Croce housed relics said to include nails and splinters from the cross, thorns from Jesus's crown, and a bone from the finger St Thomas.