Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has arrived on the male-only peninsula of Mount Athos in Macedonia, Greece, for what the Vatican has described as 'a long rest'.
It is however believed that the PM is on a sex-addiction cure which Pope Benedict had proposed to him.
Mount Athos, generally known as the 'Holy Mountain', and which can be reached only by boat, is an autonomous monastic state. No females, not even female dogs or cats are allowed on the mount, and no female, human or animal, has indeed set foot on it for more than a thousand years, its only inhabitants being hermit monks of whom there are just over two thousand. The monks live in 20 monasteries and spend their waking hours in prayer, chanting and reading the Holy Bible.
The Pope had to negotiate with the mount's spiritual leaders, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, to allow Berlusconi, a Roman Catholic, to enter one of the monasteries as those receive Orthodox Christians only.
A Vatican source told us that Prime Minister Berlusconi's treatment will consist of spending long hours in ice-cold baths for 'libido shrinkage'.
He said: "It may sound too simple a method for curing a man's addiction to sex, but as not even an image of a woman is allowed on the mount, Signor Berlusconi will at the end of the cure not even be able to remember what a woman looks like. And of course the libido would have shrunk to size zero.
"The day he leaves he will be in the graceful state of baptismal virginity just like a priest or monk. Sex will not be on his agenda ever again."
It is not certain how long Prime Minister Berlusconi would remain on the mount.