Italy is, not surprisingly, a profoundly Catholic country – in name at least, if not in practice. The overwhelming majority of Italians self-identify as Catholics, although it’s a much smaller number who regularly attend any kind of church services. Still, when I’m told that one of the worst Italian swear words is “porco dio” (coupling the words “pig” with “god”), I know that it doesn’t matter how religious the Italians are in practice – the Catholic church is still central to the Italian identity.
So, you can imagine the consternation when a couple was discovered in a cathedral in the northern city of Cesena having oral sex in a confessional box.
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Honestly, when I first read the title of that news story, I assumed it was a couple of trouble-making teenagers – but it turns out it was a couple in their early 30s who are self-proclaimed atheists. They are quoted as saying, “Having sex in church is the same as doing it anywhere else.” Hmm. These two must be really interesting dinner guests.
What I find even more galling than the actual act of having sex in a confessional box, however, is that they did it during a church service. That’s right, the dastardly deed was discovered during a 7am Saturday service, when a member of the church heard “rustling and groaning” coming from the confessional box. That takes, if you’ll pardon me, serious balls.
Needless to say, after the sex act, the archbishop of the Cesena cathedral declared that the church would have to be purified before any further services could be held there.
For more, see the Italy Magazine article.