The Europa Multiclub website

In news that’s sure to embarrass the Cardinals gathered in Rome to elect a new Pope, it’s been revealed that the Catholic Church has bought a building housing 19 Vatican apartments as well as Europe’s largest gay sauna.

The Independent has reported that the Vatican has purchased the €23m building on the central Aureliana road in the Italian capital.

Embarrassingly, senior Vatican figure Cardinal Ivan Dias lives in a first floor 12 room apartment directly above the ground floor Europa Multiclub Sauna and Gym.

According to the venue’s website, Europa Multiclub is “a place willed and created by men and for men only”.

The venue offers a “mega Turkish bath”, a sauna, a pool with a waterfall, “relax rooms with video”, a video room and a cinema as well as massages, parties and shows, including a “bear night”.

Apart from now being the landlord of a gay sauna, the Vatican is also reeling from a number of recent gay-related scandals.

It was reported by the Italian media last month that Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was partly prompted by his upset over a secret report that found that various interest groups, including a ‘gay lobby,’ were exercising “inappropriate influence” in the Vatican.

The report apparently identified a number of meeting places in and around Rome – including a villa and a sauna – for a gay network of Vatican clergy and officials; where gay sex acts had presumably taken place.

Also last month, the most senior Catholic cleric in the UK was forced to resign over sexual misconduct allegations brought against him by a number of priests. Cardinal Keith O’Brien later admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct.

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