Vatican Buys Europe’s Biggest Gay Bathhouse

The Catholic Church recently bought a $30 million share of real estate in Rome — including the largest gay sauna in Europe.

Have they no shame?! (Wait, don’t answer that.)

An advertisement for the gay sauna Europa Multiclub, now proudly owned by the Vatican.

The purchase comes at an unfortunate — or perhaps convenient — time when the Catholic Church is dealing with yet another round of allegations about gay sex scandals, according to The Independent:

The Holy See is still reeling from allegations that the previous pontiff, Benedict XVI, had quit in reaction to the presence of a gay cabal in the curia.

And with disgraced Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien lending new weight to charges of hypocrisy against the Church’s stance on homosexuality, La Repubblica newspaper noted that the presence of “Italy’s best known gay sauna in the premises is an embarrassment”.

What’s even better: some Catholic officials are actually the bathhouse’s neighbors! The lucky guy living above the sauna is none other than one of the cardinals tasked with helping to pick the next Pope:

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 [the] 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.

The people running the sauna, no doubt amused by their stodgy landlord, are well aware of the irony of their situation and do their best to capitalize on it, according to Salon:

The Europe Multi Club appears game to engage with their neighbors at the Holy See, or at least content to mess with them. The club hosts a weekly “bear night,” featuring “Bruno, a hairy, overweight pastor of souls” who, dressed in Catholic vestments (naturally), is “free to the music of his clergyman, remaining in a thong, because he wants to expose body and soul,” according to The Independent. Bear night also features a buffet, because exposing one’s body and soul works up an appetite.

And finally, reminds The New Civil Rights Movement, this is hardly the most scandalous of the Catholic Church’s assorted purchases and possessions:

It should also be noted that the Catholic Church in Germany, as The New Civil Rights Movement reported in 2011, owns a $2.3 billion bookseller that sells, among other items, 2500 “erotic” books, with titles like “Sluts’ Boarding School,” and the Vatican threatened to sue any publisher who accused it of selling pornography. Its “erotica” titles, available through its bookseller, Weltbild., also included “Fuckable.”

Seriously, these guys can’t catch a break lately. I would feel bad for them… if they weren’t so fiercely committed to shaming and condemning a large portion of the population and perpetuating the world’s worst internalized homophobia. Oh well!

Catholic bear night, anyone?

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at

  • Andrew Hall

    I’ve been working on some jokes about the mishegas in Vatican City. I’ll share two.

    Papal reform: Every altar boy now needs to sign a liability form.


    Why can’t the Catholics pick their leaders in secret like all the other crime syndicates?

  • Angelo Angela

    “Catholic bear night, anyone?” Hell, yeah!

  • Claude

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I was going to make cutting remark, but really, it’s same thing, day in, day out, day in, day out.

  • Vidman

    I wish I could post this to facebook properly. It only shows an ugly link, so I’ll post the Indipendent’s article instead :

  • newavocation

    So long as cathaholics believe that the pope has the keys to heaven, they will keep giving and put up with just about anything.

  • WoodyTanaka

    Don’t quit your day job.

  • Paul Grimm

    Again another post by atheists spewing hate about the Catholic Church. Bitter maybe because Dawkins now refuses to debate catholic doctors of divinity after losing debates. Still no atheist can explain Marian apparitions, the stigmata of padre pio, all of the bodies if catholic saints that are incorruptible, the Eucharistic miracles, and so on

  • Gus Snarp

    OK, the gay sauna is funny, particularly given recent events, but it’s just a real estate tenant, why should they discriminate? They only discriminate against women who want to work for Catholic entities in the U.S. and might not want to have babies, not against gay men, unless they want to get married…woah, I think the labyrinthine logic has overloaded my brain. What was my point? Oh yeah, they own a porn publisher? That seems a lot different from just being landlord to a gay sauna. I mean, they’re in the business of publishing porn! Can you get more hypocritical? I guess people just aren’t going to get too outraged about that when they can barely summon outrage over child rape.

  • Jim Baerg

    Is the bear catholic? Does the pope …

  • Gus Snarp

    I guess it’s true that we hate the Catholic Church as an institution. But do you really find it easier to believe that we hate the church because of your perception of Dawkins rather than our stated reasons? You know, that they lie to people, take their money, oppose birth control and condoms costing countless lives in Africa, oppose the civil rights of homosexuals, and have covered up for pedophiles and enabled them with continued access to children? I mean, you can disagree with us about these things, but is it really that hard to realize that this is how we see the church and why we hate it?

    As for “miracles”, the answer is, generally, fraud, lies, and pareidolia. Eucharistic miracles? Forgive me if I’m not up on my Catholic theological terminology, but are you referring here to transubstantiation? The explanation for that is that none of us has ever seen or tasted a cracker turned to flesh or wine to blood. I’ve never even heard of anyone telling me that the cracker magically tasted of human flesh rather than shitty cracker. You ought to at least demonstrate that there is some kind of phenomenon before asking us to explain that people eat crackers and drink wine while someone tells them it’s flesh and blood as if it’s a “miracle”.

  • Wild Rumpus

    Padre Pio was “an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people’s credulity.” In short, he was accused of infractions against all three of his monastic vows: poverty, chastity and obediance”. according to the founder of Milan’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, friar, physician and psychologist Agostino Gemelli who also speculated that Padre Pio kept his wounds open with carbolic acid.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Hahahaha….Creepy and carnivalesque Padre Pio, “Mr. See-My-Icky-Hands”, was an exhibitionist and a disgusting fraud, the Virgin of Guadalupe was even declared a FRAUD by Msgr. Guillermo Schulenberg who headed Mexico’s Basilica of Guadalupe for 40 years, the risible Eucharist “miracle” has taken a life of its own in Mexico and Venezuela where genital-free priests have taken raw flank steaks and declared them to be the living flesh of a 2,000 year old virgin carpenter…I’m not “bitter” about the RCC, I’m just thoroughly disgusted by paunchy middle-aged men who sodomize small children, masturbate on them like Fr. Marcial Maciel, and still manage to attract wide-eyed Christoholics like you who open wide for a mouthful of Savior every Sunday…Here, for your viewing/reading pleasure:

    1. The Fraud of Guadalupe:

    2. The Eucharist via a raw flank steak…Mmmm, barbecue sauce on Christ’s loin… and also

    3. Father Marcial Maciel masturbated on children: and

    4. Pervert Priests: See their mug shots, read the court documents…You can even check to see if your local parish priest is a registered sex offender…A very comprehensive database:

    This is enough homework for today. You’re welcome.

  • Donatello

    Their excuse for selling pornographic, excuse me, I meant erotic, material here in Germany was that they were simply reselling one publisher’s entire product line. As usual they were found to be lying when someone verified that claim: they managed to remove books critical of the church and its finances just fine.

  • Gus Snarp

    So there are people faking transubstantiation with actual meat? this I did not know. Doesn’t that kind of put the lie to all of the rest of transubstantiation? I mean, if the meat were actual human flesh, it would mean every other communion ever was no good because they couldn’t produce actual flesh. It’s saying that transubstantiation doesn’t actually happen, except in this one miracle magic case. Sounds like something the Vatican would declare heresy, if not fraud. Weird.

  • Gail

    A side question…When the article mentions Cardinal Ivan Dias as living in a 12 room apartment – does he live in that apartment all by himself? 12 rooms for one person (or even 4 people, IMO) is a palace!

  • Paul Grimm

    Let me enlighten you as you are obviously uneducated on the subject.

  • Paul Grimm

    What explains his recorded healing of gemma di giorgi who was born without pupils but could see after his healing of her?

  • Paul Grimm

    “Genital Free Priests?” You cannot be a eunuch and be a priest. As for your so called evidence. It seems very lacking in the fact department

  • Paul Grimm
  • advancedatheist

    The Catholic Church really should go into some kind of receivership with the authority to investigate and audit its activities.

  • M. Elaine

    “They are trying to hide some incriminating evidence on the property.” — This was my first thought. Maybe I’ve been watching too many law/crime/investigation shows.

  • John (not McCain)

    Do you think god still likes raping Mary now that they’re all in “heaven”, or was it just a one night stand?

  • Bad_homonym

    According to Lebowski he does!

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Your posts are a little light in the ‘substance’ and ‘staying on topic’ departments.

    Yeah, ok, atheists are so mean, point taken, boy you sure showed everyone here. I tell ya god sure is great.
    Move along now, nothing to see here.

  • Paul Grimm

    First off god did not rape Mary. Look up the word fiat. Secondly no one has responded to the above link. Mudslinging is a logical fallacy

  • Paul Grimm

    Has anyone read Dawkins twitter feed today? Pigs apparently are more human than feti according to him

  • Gus Snarp

    “no one has responded to the above link”
    And why should we? There’s nothing in that link that isn’t covered in my initial comment, namely lies and fraud. I leave it to you to decide whether the lies and fraud occurred in the 8th century, the 16th century, or more recently.

    Also, some of us have jobs.

  • Holicrit

    As a former Catholic who almost became an ordained priest, i’m just gonna have to butt in. First, you’re in a lions den, Everything you say will be used against you. Second, Those wafers that are given during the Eucharist Yeah, they’re just bread. Never once did i take Eucharist and say “Omnomnom, flesh and blooooood”. (Ok, maybe once).

    Seriously though. What most people have against the Catholic church is mostly because of the supreme bigotry and the hypocrisy that the church seems to be steeped in. Dawkins, as cool as he is, doesn’t even need to be brought up in this, because it’s about as irrelevant as the war on terror. Gus actually had it spot on in his reply to you, it’s not about “Dawkins”.

    Mudslinging is a logical fallacy eh? Must i REALLY try to figure out how to use quotes and then quote your whole paragraph about Dawkins and the “true” reason that Atheists and “Athe-ishs” alike hate Catholicism and religion as a whole? If mudslinging is a fallacy, then you’re full of crap, captain.

    Also, why would anyone touch that link? Web of Trust even says it’s a no-no, at least on my end. O_O

    To be honest, i know you’re just a two-bit troll who will accuse me of not using spell check and evoking memes, whilst also accusing me of never being a true catholic. That’s alright, I won’t feel sad. I won’t cry. Hell, i’ll probably giggle uncontrollably while reading whatever half baked response you try to throw back.

  • Holicrit

    Contact lenses? stopping between takes and good editing? Quite possible when you have as much money as the Vatican.

  • Holicrit

    You are my new hero.

  • Marco Conti

    Probably some are for his “posse”, then there is his study, the study for his secretary and so on. Else, he is an avid indoor roller blader and needs all the room for practice.

  • Marco Conti

    I used to love flank steak with hot pepper jelly. One of the rare times I eat read meat. Now you ruined it!

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Wow that’s just so incredibly…………not on topic. Any topic.

    Your efforts to attack atheists in as many generic ways as possible are noted. Feel free to move along any time now.

  • Michael

    A catholic bear?

    That would be Voytek right?

  • Marco Conti

    Please, I grew up in Rome and my mother unfortunately loved to follow Padre Pio and the various Miracles. The people that believe those fairy tales would believe in anything. They are simply money making machines and church showmanship. People like my mother want to believe in anything they think is supernatural. It gives them hope, but it’s a terrible lie.

    And the Catholic Church deserves all the hate that’s coming to them. Some of them are child molesters. Maybe more than average maybe not. It’s a terrible thing, but I would not accuse the entire RCC for the actions of a few.
    But what they did to deny and protect these criminals they did it as a group. All of them are complicit in this crime and its cover up. They deserve nothing but contempt and you with them for defending them.

    As far as Dawkings is concerned, I know that he and several others have stopped debating young earth creationists. If he has stopped debating catholic theologians it’s news to me, but if it’s true I don’t blame him. Each side has stated their position well enough and there is little that can be said. Your side believes in things that cannot be proven and have to be believed on faith. Our side calls bullshit. You do not bring evidence to the table and then declare victory. You can only legitimize fables for so long. At some point just being on the stage together makes their fantasies legitimate.

  • Marco Conti

    Like in every other story, the one of Gemma DiGiorgi has its share of mysteries and suspicious circumstances. Why is it that all these miracles are shrouded in mystery?

    Why is it no amputee has had their limb regrown?

    The reason why most of these miracles have to do with paralyzed people suddenly able to walk or blind people able to see is that in many cases the blind are rarely 100% blind and the paralyzed sometimes do have enough movement to do an assisted stage walk.

    In this case, I found an interesting page:

    Hope your Italian is up to task.

  • RobMcCune

    The post he’s commenting on is about the Vatican owning a bathhouse, he has to troll to make the impure thoughts go away.

  • Nate Frein

    Sounds about right actually. Pigs can feel pain and show some cognitive skills. You can teach them to do tricks. When was the last time you watched a fetus dance?

  • Isaac

    You do not seem to understand what a logical fallacy is and how it applies to argument.

  • Anna

    You guys, I think maybe we should all quit feeding the troll. Paul Grimm doesn’t seem interested in discussion. He just wants to rile things up by posting OT comments. Paul, if you actually want to have genuine discussions about things that are on topic, let us know.

  • C Peterson

    Mudslinging is not a logical fallacy. It’s a time-honored debate strategy. It only becomes a logical fallacy if it’s used to replace logical argument… and when it comes to logical argument, the religionists lose every time (because they have none).

    It’s perfectly acceptable to rip apart the basis of religion using rational analysis, and then claim that those who continue to believe such rubbish must be mindless idiots.

  • pagansister

    Pope Frances will have to check it out!!

  • Jett Perrobone

    He is and he does. Perhaps that’s why his last name is Bear-goglio.