The Pope has ordered the closure of a 500-year-old Roman monastery, displacing it’s monks after they hosted a performance by a lap-dancer-turned-nun and the famed musician Madonna.
Benedict XVI ordered the closure of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem which is home to prized Roman Catholic Church relics due to “financial and liturgical irregularities", a Vatican spokesman told The Daily Telegraph.
As a result its 20 Cistercian monks are being transferred to monasteries around Italy, after it was revealed their “lifestyles” were “not in keeping” with Church doctrine.
The closure of the monastery marks the end of a religious presence on the site, which dates back five centuries. The historic religious site dates back to 320 AD, when it was founded by the Emperor Constantine, St Helena, who is said to have brought back the relics from the Holy Land.
The monks involved reportedly demonstrated a "questionable behaviour and a lack of moral discipline".
In recent years the monastery was accused of courting wealthy celebrities such as Gloria Estefan and Madonna.
During a visit to Rome in 2008, Madonna performed a concert and meditated in front of the relics.
A former exotic dancer Anna Nobili performed a religious dance for an audience of cardinals and bishops which involved her twirling around a wooden crucifix.
Nobili described herself as a “ballerina for God” after swapping her high heels for a nuns habit and being “reborn” by her new-found faith in God.
An official investigation was ordered by the Pope, known as the Apostolic Visit. The findings were sent to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and later the pope ordered the monastery to be closed.
The results in the inquiry were not made public and the Vatican refused to elaborate.
Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, told the Daily Telegraph the monks had been guilty of "financial irregularities and liturgical abuses".
"Their lifestyles were not in keeping with what one would expect of monks," he added.
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