Transsexual pornography has been downloaded using computers based in the Vatican City, it has been claimed.
A number of films, including several transsexual adult movies, were discovered on a list of torrents that the TorrentFreak.com website claimed had been downloaded on computers within in the tiny city-state.
The website had set out to see if anyone in the Vatican was illegally downloading films and music for free - breaching copyright.
The Vatican is home to around 800 permanent residents, including Pope Francis, and the majority of the population are Catholic Church officials, security and staff.
Download levels in the city-state, which is in the north eastern corner of Rome in Italy, are thought to be very low, although one particular IP address is said to have downloaded a number of pirated US television dramas, including Chicago Fire, The Neighbours and The Americans.
The New York Post claims that the list emerged after the same IP address, which is marked with the location ‘The Holy See – Vatican City State ‘, was later linked to a number of adult movie torrents – including films starring the transsexual porn actor Tiffany Starr.
Torrenting is a method of file sharing popular with illegal downloaders and pornography distributors, as the origins of the files are said to be difficult to trace.
The now defunct website Napster famously used torrents for file sharing, but the majority of torrenting now takes place on short-lived web pages or on basic file-storage sites.
This decentralised system has made it considerably harder for authorities to crack down on illegal downloading.