Vatican Women’s Initiative: Promotional Video Under Fire For Featuring ‘Sexy Blond’ [Video]

The Vatican rolled out a new Catholic women’s initiative just before Christmas. However, not everyone is loving the new promotional video that features Italian actress Nancy Brilli. In fact, the Catholic women’s initiative video is leaving many scratching their heads and wondering, “What was the Vatican thinking?”

According to U.S. News and World Report, a new Vatican outreach initiative aimed at women was not received well by their target market. In fact, the promotional video received so much bad feedback that the video was quickly taken off the web. The video was aimed at gaining a better insight into women’s issues in the Catholic community.

The video asked for women across the globe to send in a short 60-second video or photo that depicts what it is like to be a woman in today’s world. However, it isn’t the request for photos or videos that caused some to turn their noses up at the project, but rather the choice of actress for the video. Many found Italian actress Nancy Brilli too “sexy” for the part and others just found the use of a “stereotypical” woman for a women’s initiative ineffective.

The Daily Mail reports that Phyllis Zagano from Hofstra University called out the promotional video in the National Catholic Reporter.

“What were they thinking at the Vatican? Aside from the obvious – sexy sell has long gone by the boards in developed nations and is totally unacceptable in predominantly Muslim countries – the fact of the matter is that highlighting a stereotypical spokeswoman is not the way to ask for women’s input.”

It is apparent from the choice in promotional video that the Vatican does need some help when it comes to addressing issues of women today. This has led the Holy See to study women’s issues in new ways. The Pontifical Council of Culture’s plenary assembly on “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference” spoke to the possibility of “opening the church’s doors to women so they can offer their skills ‘in full collaboration and integration’ with men.” Pope Francis has been vocal about the desire to include women in some of the Catholic church’s decision-making. In fact, he once commented that “women can ask questions that we men just don’t get.”

Though the Vatican may have missed the mark on their latest promotional video, the U.S. News and World Report points out that the Vatican has made great strides in including women in the recent years under Pope Francis discretion.

“The Vatican has made progress in recent years, appointing laywomen to some Vatican offices and giving women’s issues as a whole more ink with the monthly women’s insert of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.”