H/T to Eric J. Lyman at Religion News Service for his blog item: Meet the priests of Italy’s ‘Roman beefcake’ calendar
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. Some critics claim it projects an inappropriate image for the clergy.
Pazzi, who has producing the calendar for 10 years, also does an annual cats calendar to, he says, "promote ... adoptions of cats in the Mediterranean area."