Father Antonio Rungi may be a Roman Catholic priest, sworn to celibacy. But he is also a man. And an Italian.
“Do you really think nuns are all elderly, straitlaced and funereal?” he was quoted as asking yesterday. “It’s no longer that way these days. There are nuns from Africa and Latin America who are really very, very lovely. The Brazilians, particularly.”
Rungi has been so captivated by the looks of his sisters in God that he is organising a beauty competition for them. The first Sister Italy – as distinct from Miss Italy – contest is to be held online.
Starting next month, Rungi will post on his website the photos of those nuns who wish to take part. In a nod towards modern sensibilities, the pictures will be accompanied by a space in which the candidates can list the order to which they belong and the duties they perform.
They will be able to give voters – that is, anyone visiting Rungi’s site – an idea of their personalities. Aspirants to the title of Sister Italy will also be expected to reveal something of their “lives and miracles”. Contestants can decide whether they appear in wimples.
Rungi said some of the sisters had come up with the idea while he was chatting to them on the beach at Mondragone near Naples. In case anyone should get the wrong idea, it should be explained that the nuns in question were helping the tireless priest with another of his unconventional initiatives, aimed at encouraging sunbathers to say the rosary. Rungi is a member of the Passionist Order.
Well, it’s a sure thing no one ever said that priests aren’t men. And I guess the Guardian got a chuckle out of the fact that Father Rungi is from the Passionist Order, but I can assure you that this kind of “passion” is not what the founder had in mind. St. Paul of the Cross founded the Order “to enkindle in men’s heart a greater love for Christ Crucified”.
And from what I can determine, padreantoniorungi.myblog.it has disappeared.
Of course, it would be a sin to be an ugly old nun.