(CNN) -- A man and a woman have been charged by police in Italy after they were found having sex in a confession box, it was reported Wednesday.
The Italian ANSA news agency said the young man and woman were taken into custody by police in the northern city of Cesena following a telephone complaint from a man attending morning Mass in the city's cathedral.
Authorities were alerted after a parishoner heard "rustling and groaning" coming from inside the confession box and pulled back the curtains to reveal a goth-rock couple engaged in oral sex, ANSA said.
The agency said the pair -- a 31-year-old laborer and a 32-year-old teacher -- defended their conduct saying: "We are atheists and for us, having sex in church is like doing it any other place."
However, Bishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Cesena-Sarsina took said the couple's behavior was "an outrage of notable proportions which bespeaks unutterable squalor."
He added that a special ceremony would be held to purify the confession box.