A Beauty Pageant for Nuns - cancelled!
Father Rungi, a moral theologian who has his own blog (padreantoniorungi.myblog.it), said the nuns would not wear swimsuits or revealing outfits. He said what he valued most in a woman was "inner beauty". Asked for his feminine ideal however, he replied "Well, I would say Sophia Loren".
The contestants must be aged between 18 and 40, and can be either full members of an order or novices. Father Rungi said he expected many of those who applied to be young, attractive - and non-Italian.
"Do you really think nuns are all wizened, funereal old ladies?" he said. "Today it's not like that any more, thanks to an injection of youth and vitality brought to our country by foreign girls". He said there were nuns from Africa and Latin America who were "really very, very pretty - the Brazilian girls above all".
He admitted that not all Catholics were in favour of the idea. "I have had some e-mails from Christians who perhaps have not grasped the evangelising spirit of the initiative, or the potential of the internet, which is a marvellous tool for spreading the Christian message. Unfortunately some people still have a closed mentality".
Sadly, the blog mentioned in the quoted article seems to have gone offline.