Vatican properties 'used as massage parlours'

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Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
17:07 CET+01:00
Rome properties owned by the Vatican are being used as saunas and massage parlours, according to the latest leaks in the Italian press.

The buildings are also allegedly being rented out for cheap to powerful friends and allies, the reports said.

The revelations come a week after the Vatican arrested a priest and a former employee on suspicion of leaking documents, which formed the basis of two new books, detailing the murky world of the Vatican’s finances.

Luxury homes were rented out at knock-down prices, and hotels and beauty centres managed by private companies became places “to meet secretly”, the reports said.

Some of the properties listed include premises close to the Italian Parliament and a solarium near Piazza Barberini.

One Vatican department, the Congregation for the Propogation of the Faith, which owns hundreds of properties in Rome worth millions of euros, was also mentioned.

Two books by Italian investigative journalists, published last Wednesday, claim charity money was allegedly spent on refurbishing the houses of powerful cardinals, while the Vatican bank continues to shelter suspected criminals.

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Suspected moles - PR expert Francesca Chaouqui and Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda –risk up to eight years in prison if the case gets to court.

Pope Francis on Sunday pledged to forge ahead with reforms within the Church, while decrying the "deplorable" leaks over uncontrolled spending by the Vatican.

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