August 29, 2008

Beauty contest for nuns cancelled

by David Masters

A priest in Italy has called off an online beauty contest for nuns after the idea was criticised by church leaders.

Father Antonio Rungi cancelled the Miss Sister Italy 2008 contest and closed the corresponding blog on August 26th after intervention from his superiors.

The contest, due to start in September, would allow nuns to post photographs to a weblog.

Readers of the blog would be able to vote for their favourite nun.

Nuns could choose whether or not to cover their head in photographs submitted, although bathing suit entries were outlawed.

The Naples-based priest says his idea spawned huge interest from nuns with ‘many’ requests to take part.

However, he decided to cancel the contest because it was ‘misunderstood’ in the media and led to ‘too much commotion’.

Rungi received a number of abusive emails because of the planned contest, one of which told him he would be going to Hell.

He says the contest was meant to highlight the idea of inner beauty, and to boost the rapidly declining number of women applying to live in convents.

Church leaders, however, feared that the contest would ridicule the church and belittle the real mission of nuns.

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