London, July 17 (ANI): In a surprise act of reconciliation with Oscar Wilde, whose flamboyant behaviour scandalised Britain in the 19th century, Vatican has described the poet as a "lucid analyst of the modern world".
Wilde, who died in 1900 after converting to Catholicism, has long been regarded by the Roman Catholic Church as a dangerous degenerate and dissolute nonconformist, reports the Telegraph.
He was sent to prison for acts of gross indecency with Lord Alfred Douglas.
But now, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper has said that the author of The Importance of Being Earnest was more than "an aesthete and a lover of the ephemeral".
In a review of a new book about him, the paper said Wilde was: "one of the personalities of the 19th century who most lucidly analysed the modern world in its disturbing as well as its positive aspects".
While acknowledging that Wilde was a rebel who delighted in shocking Victorian England, L'Osservatore said he was also a profound thinker who spent his professional life asking "what was true and what was false".
Two years ago, some of Wilde's best known aphorisms were included in a book of witticisms for Christians collated by the Vatican's head of protocol, Father Leonardo Sapienza.
Sapienza said that although Wilde had lived "somewhat scandalously", he had written some "razor-sharp maxims" which carried an important moral message.ilde married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and they had two sons, but in 1891 he began a relationship with the much younger Lord Alfred Douglas.
In April 1895, Wilde sued Douglas's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, for libel, after the Marquis had accused him of being homosexual. Wilde lost and, after salacious details of his private life were revealed during the trial, was arrested and tried for gross indecency. He was sentenced to two years of hard labour in Reading Gaol. (ANI)