Many people know that several of the English and French decadents ended up embracing Catholicism. Nowadays it is easy to take pride in these exotic converts, but at the time very few Catholics were hastening to slaughter the fatted calf. Some doubted their sincerity, others worried that even a sincere aesthete might well be treating the Church like a glamorous accessory. G. K. Chesterton, for instance, never warmed to Wilde, sniping that the old decadent had been drawn to the Church only because “he desired all beautiful things—even God.”
Decadence