Oh, will the Catholic church ever be free of its many, many scandals? Short answer: probably not.
But at the moment many of the head honchos don't even know what sort of scandal is raging outside the Sistine Chapel. Right now those cardinals are busy picking the next pontiff, but European news media is swarming around the fact that the Vatican's Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples purchased a $26 million share of a Rome apartment block to house 15 priests, but it's also the location of Europe’s biggest gay sauna.
We can't confirm the size of the sauna, but it does seem Cardinal Ivan Dias, who is a pope selector at the moment, lives in the building and the Europa Multiclub bills itself as “the number one gay sauna in Italy,” and advertises its cruising areas, steam rooms, and a “bear zone” on its website.
According to the U.K.’s Independent: “The senior Vatican figure sweating the most due to the unlikely proximity of the gay Europa Multiclub is probably Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, who is due to participate in tomorrow’s election at the Sistine Chapel. This 76-year-old ‘prince of the church’ enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.”
Michael Filippis, who lives in Rome, tried to explain that saunas don't carry the same moral weight in Europe as they may in the United States:
"I have to say in general I never considered [the saunas] to be hangouts for hustlers. I know it's like that in some other countries but not so much in Rome. Because most guys live with their parents well into their late thirties and are closeted, they don't have a place to go for sex. Some do it in the car all the time but others who don't have a car anymore prefer the sauna."
But we think that people aren't gonna forget that the Holy See is back in the flesh pot business anytime soon.