Outrage is growing in the Italian city of Naples as shocking pictures have emerged of young people dressed in skimpy satanic costumes while drinking and dancing at a Halloween party in one of its historic churches.
Baffling pictures, some of which have now been taken down, emerged on social media showing partygoers taking selfies as they smoked, drank, made out and danced in the iconic church of San Gennaro.
One girl can be seen wearing a mini-skirt and knee-high stockings as she sits on the church’s 6th century altar, just above an ancient underground cemetery.
Another picture on Facebook shows a young woman clad in a metallic-green corset as she strikes an all but saint pose for the photographer under one of the church’s monumental arches.
Locals have remained unimpressed at the sight of young people taking selfies in confession boxes and next to religious statues. Cups of booze could also be seen lying around, including on the marble balustrade before the altar, wrote Italian news site Anteprima24.
Another girl in a black tube top posed for the camera with a DJ set in the background, while to her left a woman smoked a cigarette unhinged.
To top it off, in what is the exact antithesis of what the Catholic Church should represent, the group went all the way to reproduce the grim scene of hanging in a corner where the choir used to sing.
The church belongs to the archdiocese of Naples but had been given up for management to the Vico foundation. With the incident being reported all the way to the Vatican Church, the contract has now been rescinded, Il Fatto Quotidiano paper reports.
The managers were likely tricked, as the organizers of the event had asked to use the venue for a cultural evening with a theatrical act.
It is said that Napoli’s cardinal Crescenzio Sepe was unaware of the situation. People are nonetheless calling for his resignation following what has been branded a “blasphemous event.”
A local resident, Lucia De Felice, told RT the Halloween bash was a “squalid” act within the house of God: “It is squalid that the church lacks proper custody. Parties should take place in appropriate venues, not in a church.”
She said the dismissal of the cardinal is the least that can happen to make the situation right, and stressed that taking care of the church is important for all people, “whether they are Catholic or not.”
“It is a work of art for those who don’t believe, while for the faithful the house of God is sacred.”
“Rather than organizing bashes, why doesn’t the cardinal think about opening the doors to Christ’s home for the homeless as winter comes on?”
RT has approached the Vatican for comment but has yet to hear back.
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