The hunky Italian models posing as Orthodox priests have provided the calendar with global attention since 2012, so this year, calendar organizers are stripping them of what little clothing they had in previous years and using the appeal to push a very strong message against hate.
The theme of the calendar’s upcoming 2015 edition is “S.A.L.I.G.I.A.”, and HuffPo reports it has “a distinctly Russian angle.” In a preview video below, familiar images of Russian intolerance play while a muscular Orthodox priest disrobes.
More on that theme:
“The story takes place on the right bank of the Moskva River south of Moscow, where some priests believe that same-sex unions are NOT a sign of the coming apocalypse, contrary to what Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill may claim,” one of the calendar’s organizers, who asked not to be identified, told The Huffington Post. “These priests set out, in a humorous way, to remind the world that homosexuality is NOT one of the 7 deadly sins and in fact that Jesus Christ never even referred to homosexuality as a sin!”
The Orthodox Calendar team, he added, is “still the only organized global effort against homophobia in the Orthodox region” and as such, organizers and models “are more enthusiastic than ever to work on this new series illustrating the ancient sins forgotten by a declining church obsessed with demonizing” the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Censored and “X-rated” versions of the 2015 Orthodox Priest calendar, as well as an all-new “making of” DVD, are now available for purchase online.
Check out some of the images below: