It was even published in the Press half a planet away in New Zealand that
The “Miss Sister 2008” contest will start in September on a blog run by the Rev. Antonio Rungi and will give nuns from around the world a chance to showcase their work and their image.
“Nuns are a bit excluded, they are a bit marginalized in ecclesiastical life,” Rungi told The Associated Press after Italian media carried reports of the idea. “This will be an occasion to make their contribution more visible.”
Rungi, a theologian and schoolteacher from the Naples area, said that visitors to his site will have a month to “vote for the nun they consider a model.”
Nuns will fill out a profile including information about their life and vocation as well as a photograph. It will be up to them to choose whether to pose with the traditional veil or with their heads uncovered.
“We are not going to parade nuns in bathing suits,” Rungi said by telephone from his town of Mondragone. “But being ugly is not a requirement for becoming a nun. External beauty is gift from God, and we mustn’t hide it.”
Padre Antonio Rungi’s website padreantoniorungi.myblog.it has been down, up, and down again (part of the cache shown left).
Fr. Rungi appears to have abandoned whatever his original intentions might have been:
“My superiors were not happy. The local bishop was not happy, but they did not understand me either,” Father Antonio Rungi told Reuters by telephone from his convent in southern Italy Tuesday.
“It was not at all my intention to put nuns on the catwalk,” said Rungi, a priest of the Passionists religious order, speaking from his convent in the town of Mondragone.