Vatican owns the building that houses cardinals and Europe’s biggest gay bathhouse.
NSFW: A promotional ad for "Subwoofer Sauna Night" at the Europa Multiclub, purchased by the Holy See and is reportedly the largest gay sauna in Europe.
Apparently, the Holy See purchased $21 million in shares of a Rome apartment block that's home to Europe’s biggest gay sauna. Cardinal Ivan Dias, head of the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples, lives in an apartment in the palazzo, mere yards from the sauna's entrance. The Vatican owns 18 apartments total. The sauna is known for its "bear nights," in which, according to its website, “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.”
It is not known, however, if the former archbishop of Bombay has popped downstairs to give spiritual guidances to the clients of the Europa Multiclub, given his belief that gays and lesbians can be cured of their “unnatural tendencies” through the “sacrement of penance”.
The sauna’s website promotes one of its special “bear nights”, with a video in which a rotund, hairy man strips down before changing into a priest’s outfit. It says Bruno, “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”.
There was further embarrassment for the Holy See when the press observed that thanks to generous tax breaks it received from the last Berlusconi government, the church will have avoided hefty payments to the Italian state. The properties are recognised as part of the Holy City.
Readers on Italian gay websites were quick to make jokes at the cardinals’ expense. One on the Gay.it site quipped: “’Oops, I took the wrong door, I thought it was the chapel.'…If you can’t go to the gay sauna for fear of being seen what do you do if you have millions of Euros stolen from Italians? You buy the apartment block with the sauna inside.”
The Europa Multiclub's website is here, and includes a "virtual tour" feature.