Idol Chatter

You may have heard by now that Father Antonio Rungi, an Italian priest who was reportedly planning an online “beauty pageant” for nuns, has put the kibosh on “Sister Italy 2008”, saying his intent was misinterpreted by the press and his local bishop.
“It was not at all my intention to put nuns on the catwalk,” Rungi, a priest of the Passionists order, told Reuters. In fact, the contest would be hosted on Rungi’s blog and would allow nuns to vote for each other, taking into consideration qualities such as “spirituality, social awareness, and charity.”

“Now, no-one is saying that nuns can’t be beautiful, but I was thinking about something more complete,” said Rungi, who has received both supportive and combative emails about the idea. But, the contest was meant to highlight “inner beauty” and boost the sad state of vocations in Italy.
Now, I can see why the Catholic Church wouldn’t want to promote the more superficial when it comes to women in Holy Orders and it really does seem wrong to have a contest wherein points are allotted based on whose good deeds are deemed superior, but Rungi may have been on to something.
While parts of Africa and Asia have seen an increase in vocations, North America, Europe, and Australia have seen a sharp decline. And Rungi has now garnered international media attention for the crisis. Heck, I remember being told by a devout Catholic friend who had traveled extensively in Italy that the women of the country attended church so religiously not just because of their deep faith, but because of the handsome priests. So why not reel people in with a little misdirecting razzle dazzle, even if that wasn’t the actual intent? They might just come away with a lot more.

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