Plans to hold a “Miss Sister Italy” beauty pageant for nuns have been scrapped by the originator of the idea, Italian Priest, Fr. Antonio Rungi. I originally posted on his proposal a couple nights ago after reading about it over at Fear and Loathing in Georgetown. However, I yanked the post next morning because it was just too poorly written. The upshot of my argument, however, was that I though Fr. Rungi, while well-intentioned, was making a mistake by attempting to fight his battle to show the inner beauty of nuns on enemy territory. Evidently, Fr. Rungi’s superiors agree:

Father Rungi wanted to hold the contest online on his internet blog but changed his mind after the local religious authorities expressed their displeasure.

“My superiors were not happy,” Father Rungi said from the town of Mondragone, near Naples.

“The local bishop was not happy, but they did not understand me either.

“It was interpreted as more of a physical thing,” he said. “Now, no one is saying that nuns can’t be beautiful, but I was thinking about something more complete.”

He said he had intended to showcase the good works that nuns do, especially in education and health care, so as to boost interest in religious vocations.

“We have to draw more attention to the world of nuns, who are often not sufficiently appreciated by society,” he wrote in his blog.

“Nuns are – above all – women, and beauty is a gift from God,” he said before he cancelled the project.

He had wanted nuns to send their photos to him, so that internet users could then choose the winner.

Now it’s true that Fr. Rungi did not actually contemplate putting his contestants up on a catwalk. But just by calling his project a “beauty pageant”, I’m afraid the Padre sent the wrong signals.

(And as an aside, let me tell you that it was hard, hard having to post the pic above in order to illustrate my point. Oh, the agony!)

UPDATE: Speaking of enemy territory, Kathy the Cake-Eater is all over the rayther startling and, frankly, disgusting claim by US Magazine that Jenna Jameson, pron-queen extraodinaire, is a “devout” Catholic.

I tried to leave a comment to Kathy’s post but her spam watchdog wouldn’t let me through.  The gist of my remark was that as horrifying a statement as this may be, we must remain calm and trust to Higher Authority to deal with it:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians: 7-10.