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Francesco Calcagno

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Francesco Calcagno

Francesco Calcagno (1528 - 1550) was a young Franciscan friar famously executed for blasphemy and sodomy by the Venetian Inquisition.

Calcagno and the Venetian Inquisition

Calcagno, a twenty-two-year-old Franciscan friar from Brescia, was interrogated in Brescia on 15 July 1550 and executed in Venice on 23 December 1550, after an investigation by the Holy Office of the Venetian Inquisition relating to the offenses of atheistic blasphemy and sodomy.

A witness familiar with Calcagno testified that the Franciscan slept with a boy almost every night, believed that Jesus engaged in sodomy with St. John, and denied the existence of God and Paradise, as well as the immortality of the human soul.[1]

Calcagno admitted his guilt and mentioned that he had once talked to a certain Mr. Lauro di Glisenti da Vestone, an atheist who "said he didn't believe in anything, only what you could see with your eyes," and replied "Well then you can believe or say anything you want about Christ no matter how bad, like that he kept Saint John as his boy."[2] Calcagno also told the inquisitors that he had been influenced in his opinions by La cazzaria, a homoerotic 1530 dialogue by Antonio Vignali that was discreetly (but widely) circulated at the time.[3]

The laicized friar maintained his rebellious attitude, continuing to parody the Catholic Church and its beliefs and celebrating Mass in spite of being forbidden from doing so.[2]

References

  1. ^ Tucker, Scott (1997). The Queer Question: Essays on Desire and Democracy. Boston: South End Press. ISBN 978-0-89608-577-0. p. 46.
  2. ^ a b Dall'Orto, Giovanni (2004). "'Nature is a Mother Most Sweet': Homosexuality in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Italian Libertinism". In Gary P. Cestaro (Ed.), Queer Italia: Same-Sex Desire in Italian Literature and Film (pp. 83-104). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-24026-4.
  3. ^ Gianetti, Laura (2009). Lelia's Kiss: Imagining Gender, Sex, and Marriage in Italian Renaissance Comedy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-9951-8. p. 163.

Further reading

  • Adora più presto un bel putto, che Domenedio': il processo a un libertino omosessuale: Francesco Calcagno (1550)Dall'Orto, Giovanni, "'", "Sodoma" 5 (Spring - Summer 1993), pp. 43–55. (Italian)
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