Saturday, January 13, 2007
The Vatican has officially recognized Oscar Wilde, the notorious English Playwright convicted of Sodomy in 1895 after an affair with Lord Douglas. Wilde, because of his Catholic overtones and implied conversion, has received this official attention in a book written by the Vatican head of protocol, Father Leonardo Sapienza. Provocations: Aphorisms for an Anti-conformist Christianity contains tidbits of Wilde's wisdom such as “I can resist everything except temptation” and “The only way to get rid of a temptation is yield to it.”
Not surprisingly, acceptance of the book has been anything but warm among Catholic faithful, as well as non Catholic moralists.
The most interesting part of the entire scenario may lie in the official casting of the Catholic role in accepting Wilde. Father Sapienza states that Catholics are acting as "a thorn in the flesh" to arouse people out of spiritual "indifference" and into radical action. Of course, Father Sapienza is presumed to be intimately knowledgeable of Scripture and that "a thorn in the flesh" is a phrase which identifies one as a "messenger of Satan." An interesting alliance and operation, indeed!