Starting all the way back in 2004, the Vatican began releasing calenders featuring 12 of its hunkiest clergy. Now in its 10th year, the featured holy-men can be viewed at this link. Sorry to those hoping for something risqué: they are all dressed in cassock.
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Now in its 10th edition, the annual wall calendar best known for its black-and-white photos of attractive priests continues to spark grumbles of controversy in Italy.
Officially, it’s called “Il Calendario Romano” — The Roman Calendar — but it is popularly referred to as the “Roman beefcake calendar.”
According to Piero Pazzi, the Venice-based photographer who takes the photos and produces the calendar each year, almost all of the men he photographs — many of them in front of churches or religious monuments — are priests or seminarians. But the religious connotations end there.
According to Italian media reports, the calendar has become a kind of icon for groups ranging from female Protestant clergy to gay men.