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Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
LifeSite ^ | May 4, 2007 | Gudrun Schultz

Posted on 05/05/2007 5:10:50 PM PDT by NYer

COREGGIO, Italy, May 4, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A leading Italian author of the 80’s who was known for extreme depictions of homosexuality, violence and pain in his work underwent a conversion to the Catholic faith shortly before dying of AIDS.

Openly homosexual Pier Vittorio Tondelli was recognized as one of the greatest Italian authors of his time. A writer and playwright, Tondelli’s work was initially censored by Rome officials on charges of obscenity for his explicit portrayals of homosexual life. He was eventually acquitted of the charge of obscenity, but scandal continued to follow his work over the homosexual content.

In the months leading up to his death Tondelli returned to the Catholic faith. He had largely withdrawn from society after discovering he was infected with HIV and had kept his illness out of the public eye.

Fascinated throughout his life by the works of Jewish mystics, the Imitation of Christ and the writings of such Catholic leaders as St. Teresa of Avila, Tondelli wrote, “I love to look through them, to find and read stories, and the idea of holiness.”

After his conversion, Tondelli called chastity “a mystic virtue for those who have chosen it and perhaps the most superhuman use of sexuality.”

In the days before his death Tondelli read the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, the last material he read. Notes jotted in the margins read, “Literature does not bring salvation, never. Only love, faith and falling back into grace saves.”

Tondelli died of AIDS in Milan in 1991. His silence about his infection with HIV and the quiet lifestyle he chose for the final years of his life have been a source of outrage to the homosexual community.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Prayer
KEYWORDS: aids; conversion; homosexual; homosexualagenda

1 posted on 05/05/2007 5:10:54 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

And this is why we pray for the lost sheep.


2 posted on 05/05/2007 5:11:30 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer
And this is why we pray for the lost sheep.

*************

Amen. Love the sinner. The poor man.

3 posted on 05/05/2007 5:13:55 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer; AFA-Michigan; Agitate; AliVeritas; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; BabaOreally; Balke; BigFinn; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping

Freepmail wagglebee or little jeremiah to subscribe or unsubscribe from the homosexual agenda ping list.

Click FreeRepublic homosexual agenda keyword search for a list of all related articles.

Add keywords homosexual agenda to flag FR articles to this ping list.

4 posted on 05/05/2007 5:17:40 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: trisham

Seems to have been in the tradition of Oscar Wilde or the story Fr. Groeschel relates of a previous president of Act Up who returned to his Catholic faith before his death.


5 posted on 05/05/2007 5:26:25 PM PDT by Atheist2Theist (http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/)
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To: NYer

His silence about his infection with HIV and the quiet lifestyle he chose for the final years of his life have been a source of outrage to the homosexual community.

They will be outraged now matter what..............


6 posted on 05/05/2007 5:29:00 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...

.


7 posted on 05/05/2007 5:30:22 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, insects)
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To: NYer

> And this is why we pray for the lost sheep.

Amen. Unto God be the Glory! So mote it be:

Non nobis Domine non nobis,
Sed nomini tuo da gloriam
Sed nomini tuo da gloriam.

*DieHard the Hunter*


8 posted on 05/05/2007 5:44:40 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter
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To: NYer
And this is why we pray for the lost sheep.

At a class for our deacon candidates this afternoon, someone brought up Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's frightening defense of partial-birth abortion, wondering what good it could do to try to appeal to such a person's basic sense of right and wrong. After discussion, we reached the conclusion that even a person so obviously angry with God was not beyond the reach of His love. This story offers just one more example.

9 posted on 05/05/2007 5:45:17 PM PDT by madprof98 ("moritur et ridet" - salvianus)
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To: DieHard the Hunter; alpha-8-25-02

PING


10 posted on 05/05/2007 5:46:37 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter
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To: NYer
And this is why we pray for the lost sheep.

Amen to that! Even more than loving the sinner, also praying for their conversion, their repentance.

His silence about his infection with HIV and the quiet lifestyle he chose for the final years of his life have been a source of outrage to the homosexual community.

Outrage? This is their final line in their remarks about him - we liked him, but he outraged us? They expected him to what? Give up all privacy in illness? Become a 'symbol' for them? Would they have paid him any mind if his illness were a brain tumor or a stroke? These folks have sacrificed the people for the lifestyle and seek glory for it's ills rather than the special gift of each person.

11 posted on 05/05/2007 5:48:53 PM PDT by fortunecookie (My computer is back!)
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To: NYer

Oscar Wilde also became a Catholic in his last days.

And one of my favorite poets, Wallace Stevens, became a Catholic in the hospital where he died, although his daughter Holly has tried to cover it up.


12 posted on 05/05/2007 6:19:20 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

I didn’t know that about Wallace Stevens. I have always really liked his work and thought that he was a sort of “crypto-Catholic” (and perhaps hidden even to himself).


13 posted on 05/05/2007 6:29:20 PM PDT by livius
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To: NYer

Very interesting, thank you for posting this. He suffered not only from the sickness that caused his death, but from rejection by his circle of friends. But he had courage and suffered to the final triumph.


14 posted on 05/05/2007 6:31:12 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius

Yes, I love his poetry, and I have always thought the same, that he was a realist/idealist who only needed Catholicism to complete his vision.

“Sunday Morning” has always been one of my favorite poems. Ostensibly, it is an atheist poem. The poet and a fashionable woman sit outdoors, think and talk, and enjoy the beauty of nature on a Sunday morning while others go to Church.

But in point of fact the poem has always spoken to me of the beauty of the creation, which can only be explained by a Creator and Savior. The poem is absolutely filled with stunning images and glorious phrases. In my opinion it’s one of the very greatest poems of the twentieth century.

Perhaps the woman who speaks is an agnostic or an atheist. But what about the man who listens and thinks?

Sunday Morning

1

Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound.
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.

2

Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measure destined for her soul.

3

Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.
He moved among us, as a muttering king,
Magnificent, would move among his hinds,
Until our blood, commingling, virginal,
With heaven, brought such requital to desire
The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be
The blood of paradise? And shall the earth
Seem all of paradise that we shall know?
The sky will be much friendlier then than now,
A part of labor and a part of pain,
And next in glory to enduring love,
Not this dividing and indifferent blue.

4

She says, “I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”
There is not any haunt of prophecy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm
Remote on heaven’s hill, that has endured
As April’s green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow’s wings.

5

She says, “But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss.”
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves
Of sure obliteration on our paths,
The path sick sorrow took, the many paths
Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love
Whispered a little out of tenderness,
She makes the willow shiver in the sun
For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze
Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears
On disregarded plate. The maidens taste
And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.

6

Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set pear upon those river-banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.

7

Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go
The dew upon their feel shall manifest.

8

She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.


15 posted on 05/05/2007 7:03:46 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: livius

His conversion is disputed because he did not confide in his wife or daughter Holly, who later edited his poems and letters.

I just googled it and found the letter from Father Hanley, who baptized Stevens in the hospital. I see no reason to doubt what he says. Naturally most modernist literary critics prefer to put the whole business down the memory hole.

http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Stevens/conversion.html


16 posted on 05/05/2007 7:13:37 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

Sunday Morning is a wonderful poem, and lines from it have occasionally popped into my mind at odd moments over the years...

The letter from Fr. Hanley is very interesting. 1977. This was not a great time for the Church, but there were still good priests and devout laypeople and it sounds as if he was fortunate enough to find them.

I know this is probably a silly consideration, but I have always worried about artistic converts - that is, people attracted by that aspect of the Church’s vision of the world - after the total collapse of church art, music and language following VatII. I know Graham Greene basically left because of that, and I have always been glad that some illustrious artistic converts - such as Edith Sitwell - didn’t live to see the “stripping of the altars.”


17 posted on 05/05/2007 7:41:42 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius

I always had my doubts about Graham Greene. In fact I remember writing an essay for a Catholic literary magazine while I was in college, questioning his orthodoxy.

The Power and the Glory is certainly a fascinating book, but there is something not quite right in all of Greene’s work, IMHO.

As a boy, he was always looking for a way to be out of step with everyone else—the impulse to be perversely different. In his early years he found it in Catholicism, which was the great bugaboo of the English. I think he loved the idea of offending people. Later he found it in Communism, at least that’s my reading of The Ugly American and later work.


18 posted on 05/05/2007 7:49:42 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: livius

Hard to forget “Death is the mother of beauty.”


19 posted on 05/05/2007 7:51:07 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NYer

**And this is why we pray for the lost sheep.**

Absolutely. Christ came for the sick and the sinful. Those who are well do not need the physician, Christ.

God bless him for coming back to his faith.


20 posted on 05/05/2007 8:13:32 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: NYer

**His silence about his infection with HIV and the quiet lifestyle he chose for the final years of his life **

But this is true humility. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


21 posted on 05/05/2007 8:15:07 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: NYer

God Bless Him!


22 posted on 05/05/2007 8:16:25 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: NYer
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS

Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church

Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)

Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge

Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus

Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles

Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome

Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)

Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi

Why Converts Choose Catholicism

The Scott Hahn Conversion Story

23 posted on 05/05/2007 8:18:41 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: NYer
"Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

Samuel Johnson

24 posted on 05/05/2007 9:09:41 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: NYer

“Literature does not bring salvation, never. Only love, faith and falling back into grace saves.”

How can such a simple sentence be so profound to the point of making me teary eyed?


25 posted on 05/05/2007 9:47:25 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: NYer

God bless him.


26 posted on 05/07/2007 11:05:03 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam
The Prodigal Son.
27 posted on 05/07/2007 2:08:10 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Cicero

Graham Greene was a professional bad boy. Like most bad boys, he wanted (a) somebody to tell him the right thing to do and (b) to defy that person. He lived a somewhat irregular life when he was a Catholic, but probably planned to make it all right on his deathbed...

There are probably many people like him out there. The Church has always (although not enthusiastically) had a place for people like him. And he did have moments that were glorious - when the Comandante is drinking the wine that the failed priest in “The Power and the Glory” wanted to save for celebration of the Mass, and the priest sees “all the hope of the world draining away.” I don’t remember the specific words and don’t have the book here, so this may not be an exact quote.

But Graham Greene was a wonderful writer, although I think that oddly enough - or maybe not - his powers declined after he left the Church.


28 posted on 05/07/2007 2:25:06 PM PDT by livius
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