As Cardinals gather to select the next Pope, the Vatican has been found to have made a €23 million investment in an apartment block that contains "Europe's biggest gay sauna," Europa Multiclub according to reports in Rome and the UK Independent newspaper.
The building also houses priests, an Archbishop and, occupying a 12 room apartment on the first floor, Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples.
Cardinal Dias will be in the conclave and is a believes that homosexuality can be cured of their "unnatural tendancies" through the Sacrement of Pennance. It is not known if the Cardinal has visited the sauna.
Pope Benedict XVI is believed to have resigned, the first Papal resignation since 1415, after receiving the report of an investigation into events surrounding the leaking of documents by the Pope's butler. The lengthy report is said to contain detailed evidence of factional infighting.
La Repubblica said "The cardinals were said to have uncovered an underground gay network, whose members organise sexual meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City, leaving them prone to blackmail. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop."
>It is not known if Europa Multiclub is the sauna referred to.
The report is being kept locked away until the next Pope is chosen, who will have to deal with its contents. It is rumoured that the Cardinals wish to read the report, not least out of concerns that the next pontiff could be named in it.
The sauna's website also makes reference to their rumoured clientele. In a video, a large man in a priests outfit undresses down to a thong, with subtitles reading, “a hairy, overweight pastor of souls, is free to the music of his clergyman, remaining in a thong, because he wants to expose body and soul.”
The block containing the sauna was bought in 2008, it is said, on the advice of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Benedict's right hand man.
Mario , president of the Multiclub says on the company's website, "I want you to know that behind our association are mostly men, people like me, who have as their primary objective is to make you appreciate the beauty and satisfaction of meeting other men in a unique and special place."