Monday, August 25, 2008

Beauty Pageant for Nuns

Another entry in our "Decline of Western Civilization" series:

Priest/Theologian Proposes Online Beauty Pageant for Nuns

The brainchild of a Catholic theologian and priest, its purpose is to promote god and redeem the image of nuns as dowdy and dour. The proposed Internet contest would begin September 2008 and eventually go mainstream with a televised pageant.

WARNING: According to the Abhidharma, it may be particularly hazardous to look with lust at morally wholesome individuals. Mental karma, whether skillful or unskillful, rebounds much more intensely when aimed at the virtuous by natural order (niyama).

Discourses of the Ancient Nuns
(Bhikkhuni-samyutta, SN, Book V)

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's Park.

Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Alavika dressed and, taking her bowl and robe, entered Savatthi for alms.1 When she had walked for alms in Savatthi and returned from her almsround, after her meal, she went to the Blind Men's Grove seeking seclusion.2

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the nun Alavika, desiring to make her fall away from seclusion [literally from sensuality and other unwholesome states], approached her and addressed her in verse:

1. "There is no escape in the world,
So what will you do with seclusion?
Enjoy the delights of sensual pleasure:
Don't be remorseful later!"

Then it occurred to the nun Alavika: "Now who is it that recited the verse — a human being or a non-human being?" Then it occurred to her: "This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited the verse desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in me, desiring to make me fall away from seclusion."

Then the nun Alavika, having understood, "This is Mara the Evil One," replied to him in verses:

2. "There is an escape in the world
Which I have closely touched with wisdom.
O Evil One, kinsman of the negligent,
You do not know that state.3

3. Sensual pleasures are like sword stakes;
The aggregates [khandha], their chopping block.
What you call sensual delight
Has become for me non-delight."4

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, "The nun Alavika knows me," sad and disappointed, disappeared right then and there.
Beauty Pageant for Nuns (A Service of Church Resources, 8/25/08)

An Italian priest who says Sophia Loren is his ideal woman is launching a beauty contest for nuns to prove that there are pretty nuns. The Times Online reports Father Antonio Rungi, from Mondragone in the province of Caserta, near Naples, said he expected at least a thousand nuns to enter the "Sister Italia" contest.

It would at first run online, but he hoped it would then become a "real pageant" on the lines of the annual Miss Italy contest, complete with a parade and interviews.

Fr. Rungi, a moral theologian, 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. Fr. 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 asked. "Today it's not like that anymore, thanks to an injection of youth and vitality brought to our country by foreign girls." He explained that there were nuns from Africa and Latin America who were "really very, very pretty -- the Brazilian girls above all."

The future of the Church and women in every corner of society? (

Fr. Rungi, who has organized religious services on Naples beaches where sunbathers can say the rosary, said that photos of the contestants would appear on his blog at the beginning of next month so that readers could vote for their favorite.

"Nuns are women above all else, and beauty is a gift from God," Fr. Rungi added. He told Corriere della Sera it was the nuns themselves who had suggested the idea to him while helping him to run prayer services on the beach. "Many have assured me they will take part."

He said he realized he risked being seen as a publicity-seeker. "But you need a bit of courage to do something like this. Nuns deserve much more attention then they get." He said nuns had both "physical and spiritual beauty," and often did social, caring, or hospital work in which an "attractive presence" was an advantage.

He said the "Sister Italia 2008" contest was a way of showing that female beauty was "not just the plasticized beauty you see on television."
  • Our submission would be a classic beauty-comes-from-within pageant winner:

Mother Theresa, Sisters of Charity, India

  • Related stories:
Nun Sentenced to Year in Jail for Sexual Assault
Sister Norma Giannini admits to other offenses

MILWAUKEE (2/1/08) -- A Roman Catholic nun who pleaded no contest to sexually abusing two Milwaukee boys years ago will spend a year in jail (reciting an untold number of Hail Marys). A judge sentenced Sister Norma Giannini, 79, to one year in jail and nine years probation. She has 60 days to report to the House of Correction in Milwaukee County. It has been a four-decade-long struggle for the two victims, who first came forward to the church in 1996. But it took 10 more years before their allegations developed into criminal charges and then a conviction, 12 News reporter Nick Bohr stated (

The Buddhist Nun foremost in Beauty
(SN, Book V)

Setting at Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Uppalavanna dressed... she stood at the foot of a Sala tree in full flower.14

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the nun Uppalavanna, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

14. "Having gone to a Sala tree with flowering top,
You stand at its foot all alone, bhikkhuni.
There is none whose beauty can rival your own:
Foolish girl, have you no fear of rogues?"15

Then it occurred to the nun Uppalavanna: "Now who is this...? This is Mara the Evil One... desiring to make me fall away from concentration."

Then the nun Uppalavanna, having understood, "This is Mara the Evil One," replied to him in verses:

15. "Though a hundred thousand rogues
Just like you might come here,
I stir not a hair, I feel no terror;
Even alone, Mara, I don't fear you.16

16. I can make myself disappear
Or I can enter inside your belly.
I can stand between your eyebrows
Yet you won't catch a glimpse of me.

17. I am the master of my own mind,
The Bases of Power [Iddhipada] are well developed;
I am freed from every kind of bondage,
Therefore I don't fear you, friend."17

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, "The nun Uppalavanna knows me," sad and disappointed, disappeared right then and there.

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