Andy Warhol, Gay and Catholic

It is considerably frustrating that Mr. Warhol was an ardent, believing, and practicing Ruthenian Rite Catholic. Such an immense failure of the intellect makes him impossible to idolize in precisely the manner we wish to idolize him: As a new-age, secular artiste, champion of unexamined homosexuality and all things hip, enemy of the repressed, the medieval, and the ancient.

Now truly, Mr. Warhol was openly, undeniably gay, a laudable feat in a time less friendly to men with same-sex attraction. But to fashion the Wigged Wonder into our 21st-century, objectified caricature of a homosexual does him violence.

According to the wonderful book The Religious Art of Andy Warhol, by Jane Daggett Dillenberger, the man remained celibate, a fact revealed by his own declaration of virginity and at his eulogy, where it was recalled that “as a youth he was withdrawn and reclusive, devout and celibate, and beneath the disingenuous mask that is how he at the heart remained.” He deliberately concealed who he was to the public — famously answering questions with “uh, no” or “uh, yes” — and he certainly concealed the fact that he wore a cross on a chain around his neck, carried with him a missal and a rosary, and volunteered at the soup kitchen at the Church of Heavenly Rest in New York. He went to Mass — often to daily Mass — sitting at the back, unnoticed, awkwardly embarrassed lest anyone should see he crossed himself in “the Orthodox way” — from right shoulder to left instead of left to right. He financed his nephew’s studies for the priesthood, and — according to his eulogy — was responsible for at least one person’s conversion to the Catholic faith.

He painted, filmed, and photographed the obscene, the homoerotic, the trashy and the lewd, but never seriously engaged in it, saying himself that “after 25 you should look but never touch.” As the art historian John Richardson recalled: “To me Andy always seemed other worldly, almost priest-like in his ability to remain untainted by the speed freaks, leather boys, and drag queens whom he attracted…Andy was born with an innocence and humility that was impregnable–his Slavic spirituality like the Russian holy fool, the simpleton whose quasi-divine naiveté protects him against an imicable world.” While The Factory — the place he worked and a home-base for the avante-garde community — dived into debauchery late into the night, Warhol was rather infamous for leaving at 10 to go to sleep.

Whether his understanding of the amoral nature of art (by which recording and artistically expressing a sinful thing not necessarily sinful in itself) is some sort exoneration is not important. It’d be a fool who’d make him a Saint — it’s difficult to get people who flirt with cocaine on the Calendar — but it’d be the greater fool who’d make Andy Warhol a proud sinner.

For the Church Andy Warhol loves did not and does not teach that it is a sin to be gay, to carry with oneself same-sex attraction. The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual actions are detrimental to the human person, and thus sinful. For Andy Warhol to be openly gay (he mentions he’d “always had a lot of fun with that — just watching the expression on people’s faces…) and at the same time intentionally celibate seems to represent a certain peace about the man, an intellectual separation of the sinless same-sex attraction and the sinful homosexual action, and an effort at communion with the teachings of the Catholic Church. If it is sinful from the Catholic perspective, it is only sinful in that he may have lead others astray, those who did not know of his intentional celibacy.

But all this would be a view of the man, struggling for the good, failing and succeeding as only sinners can, not of the caricature our Gays vs. Hate world is comfortable with. It’s a pity, as an understanding of Warhol’s Catholicism lends a unique — and ignored — insight into his art. As Matthew J. Milliner writes for First Things on a gallery of Warhol’s art:

Massive silkscreen variations of Leonardo’s The Last Supper lined the walls, and the initial impression was that Christ had become as much fodder as Mao or Marilyn. But the negative impression didn’t last. For those with eyes to see, there emerged a message. No matter how many commercial logos one plasters over The Last Supper, no matter how the image is twisted, colored, or copied–Christ’s gesture of self-sacrificing love is tirelessly constant. For once, irony lost. It was Warhol’s final and perhaps largest series, almost certainly his finest–the resuscitation of what had become a tired visual cliche.


On Catholic Design
Get Thee (Or Your Friend) To a Nunnery
Christopher West's At the Heart of the Gospel...
5 People It's Easy to Forget Are Catholic
  • bearing

    I never knew this about Mr. Warhol. Thanks for the piece.

    And I like the juxtaposition in the photo. Clever and subversive.

  • Solidstuff

    I really appreciate your posts. As a campus minister at a Catholic College, it helps me brush up on my moral teaching and gives me something to share with the folks i serve. Keep it up!

  • Alexandra

    I really don’t get why you think that someone secular gives a shit about what Warhol chose to do in his personal life, or that it makes it so that we can’t “idolize” him as a hip artist. He still was a very hip and edgy artist. Because he didn’t engage in trying to impose his own religion on others to limit the rights of other homosexuals to express their sexuality the way they wanted to, I don’t see any reason to think anything in specific of him because of how he chose to privately express his own sexuality.

    Nice piece, but the intro really demonstrates your lack of insight into what it is what secular individuals care about.

    • Dubravka

      This post shows that you don’t understand what the intro meant. It was a comment on the fact that certain communities idolize him because of who he was (In which case it’s ok to care and use who he was in his personal life, right? You are wrong when you say secular individuals don’t care about that kind of things, they just like to pick and choose what parts they’re going to care about.) choosing to not mention or notice the parts that don’t fit the picture they want to paint of him.

    • Sophias_Favorite

      Get off your high horse before you hurt yourself, if you don’t believe anything is holy you should probably avoid being so holier-than-thou.

      Have you ever stopped to consider the many similarities between your comments on this blog and the Westboro Baptist Church at military funerals?

      • SavonarolasAshes

        Your response is psychopathic.

        • Sophias_Favorite

          Your response is anencephalic.

          In what possible way is my response psychopathic, brainiac? Do you even actually know what that word means?

    • De Gaulle

      The word ‘hip’ is so unhip.

  • Philip Donald

    Thanks Marc. A good piece. Incisive wit at the beginning.

  • PublicLivesMatterToo

    This is an interesting and very revealing piece.
    I think your tone regarding Warhol’s homosexuality is a bit troubling, though. You seem very quick to dismiss the problems associated with a man carrying himself flamboyantly and advertising his ‘gayness’ to the world.
    ‘If it is sinful from the Catholic perspective…’ We must not underestimate the evil of causing scandal. The fact that this article is surprising proves that Warhol did indeed have us fooled regarding his personal life. We are all accountable to one another as well as to God, and it is our duty to carry ourselves in such a way as to strive to be examples for one another, and never stumbling blocks.
    Also, I take issue with your phrase “sinless same-sex attraction.” The Catechism states that the inclination of homosexuality is “objectively disordered” (2358). True, there is no sin in being homosexual — but let’s not forget that it is a result of Original Sin (like all the many other disordered parts that we all carry in our souls). To treat it as something that’s “just fine” or “no big deal” is to ignore the fact that it is a result of sin in the world and a very real problem with which the person must grapple.

    • ^__^”

      Well, all temptation to sin is a result of original sin, but singling out SSA on this is probably counterproductive. As someone with some SSA, I know it’s disordered, but it’s important that the temptation itself is not sinful, so I don’t think it’s bad to emphasize that.

      I totally agree about the issue with scandal, though.

      • Stanley James

        its not diordered – you have been brainwashed. About 10-11 % of people are gay, per legislators and Dr.s in Iceland and Denmark, where they have gay marriage and there is virtually no closet

        The disorderd biz is just relgiioun Masquerading as science. Shame on teh church for always needing someone to demean. It was Jews first and we know where hat one led.
        Now in America, we have a repeating 9-11 of about 3000 gay kids driven to suicide by the biz about disorded that leaks out into tour society.

        From the people who claim to support life.

        BTW the german popes ideas about supporting life are truely shown in how he in 2009 UNexcommunciated a holocaust denier, Bishop Williamson

        • Stanley James
          • De Gaulle

            Your comment at the bottom of the article you refer us to, along with your comment above about the ‘German Pope’ says a lot more about you than it does about the Pope. In fact your enthusiastic willingness to implicitly tar all Germans with the same brush as being Nazi-sympathisers, is not that far removed from the kind of thinking that leads to discrimination on the grounds of race.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            As prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, he wrote Catholics and the larger society can tolerate gays and lesbians if only they remain hidden. He also advocated every form of discrimination short of imprisonment against gays and lesbians.

            As a gay cradle Catholic who remained celibate most of his life, I can assure you that the ruthlessness of the laity, clergy, and hierarchy drive gay youth to suicide. I was educated in a Catholic high school. The priests raped not a few of my classmates; the priests seem to have had a preference for gay students, presumably because they were easier to blackmail. We had a suicide rate of 1 per 1,000 per year. Now, after many years the Church has shielded the guilty and blames these rapes on all gay men, even innocent bystanders and victims.

            Now in my home state of Louisiana, the Bishops have endorsed a law that would make it legal for publicly funded charter schools to discriminate against gay and lesbian students, even refusing admission or expelling them. Since charter schools have largely replaced public schools, the Church is denying the right of a public education to minors based on orientation and forcing them into silence in the event of persecution for fear of expulsion. That is exactly the environment in my Catholic high school which facilitated so much rape and suicide.

          • LivingTheLife

            Anyone who has raped, bullied deserves full punishment of law. The fact they hid behind a position of power just makes it more vile. Any bishop or priest that shielded another priest should be punished. None of that horrible situation changes the fact that although the world now says being gay is ok, catholic teaching based on the word of God says the acts are a sin. Whether you want to accept that is your free will but the church teaching isn’t changing ever.

          • pagansister

            “…….church teaching isn’t changing ever”. That, LivingTheLife is part of the problems the Church has.

          • LivingTheLife

            Actually knowing that the Catholic Church has not changed since the faith was given to us by Christ is very comforting. Christ’s teachings through the New Testament can seem restricting when you reject them but he gives them to us because he loves us. When you put God first you begin to know his love and see that having that love fills your soul. Your spirit changes and can soar with his love. You just want to respond with love for him and the world. An illicit affair between two men just doesn’t matter anymore, as any sin is now rejected. You want to be as holy as you can be. This is the truth, seek him and you will find him and find his love abundantly.

          • pagansister

            Like I said, LTL, that is part of the problem the Church has—not changing in 2000 some odd years. The truth you talk about works for you and that is great for you. Didn’t Jesus come up with different ideas for his time? CHANGE! Would that man, Jesus, be against some of the outdated Church rules? IMO, no.

          • LivingTheLife

            I know where you’re coming from I was there myself. I couldn’t see why acting on my desires was a sin I was a good person why is this an issue I just want to love another man. Love is good right. The problem is that you are being your own God when you make your own rules, God gave you free will and sadly lets you go you own way. But that separates you from the real God and your soul will feel empty and nothing can fill it but a relationship with Jesus. So this change you’re looking for is just creating a new religion with yourself as God, the sooner you see that the better it will be for you.

          • pagansister

            Believe me when I tell you,LTL, I’m no Goddess (and I know no human Gods) but I find it hard to believe that the divine being you worship would not love all his/her “children” or would want his/her other children to discriminate against each other just because they happen to have been born with an attraction to the same gender. Now since Jesus is supposed to be that divine being’s child, and that child didn’t discriminate against others, there is no logic IMO, for the RCC to make such a big deal about who someone loves….m/m, f/f or m/f. I know, I know, the church loves them—as long as they show NO physical love for that other person—-! As for making up my own rules—since I’m not a Goddess, i follow the main rule—best known as the Golden Rule or an interpretation I prefer: Do as you will as long as it HARMS NONE. Since I may be much older than you—Grandparent status—following your last sentence advise isn’t going to happen. In this country we are supposed to have EQUAL rights—-the Church of course sees it differently. It is not a democracy. I couldn’t follow their outdated rules or male domination of the Church—I do believe that if women had more say, man of those outdated rules would be amended. Just my opinion.

          • pagansister

            That last sentence should have had YES as the answer! Sure typed that wrong and certainly discovered it a little late. :o)

          • SavonarolasAshes

            Is it Christs teaching that gay students should be victimized by a law that makes them choose between mental health and an education?

            I think you’re insulting Christ.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            The Church’s most egregious lie is that it is unchanging. Papal infallibility and the immaculate conception of Mary are two doctrines that were fabricated in the past 200 years.

          • pagansister

            SavonarolasAshes: How is it that the Church in LA has any business endorsing a law that would make it legal for publicly funded charter schools to discriminate against gay and lesbian students? That is outrageous! I sincerely hope that the law doesn’t pass—this it 2012 for God’s sake! The Church may have a huge influence in the State, but they need to stay out of PUBLIC schools! The Church’s track record regarding minors in the past and I expect still today is more than a little tragic and pathetic. They need to tend to themselves—-they still have a lot to make up for.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            Religion has an inordinate influence in Louisiana since Bobby Jindal took over. However, the Second Circuit ruling today not only invalidated DOMA, it also gave gays and lesbians suspect class status. So, the ACLU can now sue Jindal and his cronies for their infraction of basic human rights.

          • pagansister

            I don’t always agree with what the ACLU does—-but in this case—I sure hope they “win”. Guess Jindal and his cronies don’t understand basic human rights! The RCC, IMO, doesn’t understand that either.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            You’re right, “Pagan” sister. The Catholic Church teaches that daughters after the first should be exposed to the elements, that the father of a family should have the right to kill its members till the day he dies, and that slaves can be raped, tortured, or killed purely on a whim.

            No, wait, that was what pagans thought—have we maybe never studied the history of Ancient Rome? Has your middle school not gotten to that era yet? The Catholic Church abolished all those things; it invented the concept of human rights.

          • pagansister

            Like the RCC has a wonderful record Sophias Favorite—don’t get me started on their wonderful accomplishments—with the most recent being the faithful priests and their conduct with children over the past how many years? Lots of deaths occurred in the past when folks wouldn’t “convert” to the “One True Faith”. There is absolutely NO religion, IMO, that hasn’t got something in it’s past (and the RCC’s recent past) that they aren’t proud of. The RCC invented the concept of human rights? Really? BS. Guess that is what they call not allowing same gender couples to marry, or no birth control but NFP, or no women priests, etc. Thanks but no thanks.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            “Faithful priests”? You find me where in the catechism it says they were following Catholic teaching. It’s not like this is an esoteric religion, cupcake, its teachings are public knowledge, and sex-abuse violates them.

            On the other hand, much of the pagan world considered pederasty an exemplary part of child-rearing. Hence why the euphemism for it is “Greek love”.

            As for “lots of deaths” RE: conversions, do you have the stats? I do. And the vast majority of so-called persecution by either branch of orthodox Christianity will be found, on examination, to actually be an instance of inter-tribal or cultural violence. Christians sometimes killed foreigners who were different religions from them—but can you prove that wasn’t actually nationalism?

            Meanwhile most persecution of Christians has been by those Christians’ own countrymen, from the Roman persecutions to modern Communist or Islamist regimes.

            And yes, the Catholic Church did, in fact, invent the concept of human rights—Greek and Roman slaves were livestock under the law, and so were their daughters. Christianity changed that. The only other religion in the world that has an even comparable concept is Buddhism, and there, solely those sects that accept the Mahayana sutras. Also, many scholars suspect that the Mahayana interpretation of karuna, which leads to their idea of human rights, may have been influenced by Christianity—the Mahayana sutras were composed in a highly Hellenized part of India in the early Byzantine era.

            Sorry, I must reiterate my assertion that you have a seventh-grader’s understanding of world history. Kindly stop flaunting your ignorance quite so ostentatiously.

          • pagansister

            Sophia, you make me laugh. Your 7h grade comment, said yet again for what? To prove your “intellect”? I’m considering the source, “cupcake”. Also, I can almost guarantee that I’m a lot older than you think. Your history of Paganism is relatively accurate as far as you go. Your history of THE Church is prejudice. Like I said, NO faith has a great record in it’s past. As for the priests—they used their positions of trust to molest the children—and I bet not a one of them felt guilty! But if they did feel guilty, they just prayed for forgiveness before they continued their crimes. Those that protected them were no better. All that protection to make folks think the RCC was THE faith. What a joke. I spent many years teaching in a Catholic school and have many Catholic friends. I’m happy in my beliefs and you in yours. BTW, Andy was Andy. He just happened to be famous. Ours is not to judge whether he was a “good Catholic” or not. Certainly whether he was a celibate gay Catholic or not, I don’t think anyone really knows.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            It’s Sophia’s Favorite, Paganshitter.

            And I wouldn’t be surprised if you were older than I; there is no fool like an old fool, and all that.

            As for your conception of “praying for forgiveness before they committed their crimes”, snerk, is that how you think it works?

            You need to talk to the Hemlock Society, because whatever they’re paying you to stealth-market their views, it isn’t enough.

          • pagansister

            SF, this conversation is done. You are too rude to respond to any more. Your lack of self esteem is obvious.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Yes, because I treat you with about half of the contempt your utter worthlessness deserves, I must lack “self-esteem”. You are a never-ending laugh riot.

            But I do agree, let us end this futile exercise in piping to deaf adders which you have flattered lavishly with the name “conversation”. I was starting to think those pearls would be better used elsewhere anyway.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            Being German doesn’t make one suspect; being German and making excuses and supporting Holocaust deniers does make one suspect.

        • LivingTheLife

          As a male with same sex attraction I know you are making wrong assumptions and conclusions. I found peace with a relationship with Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church. I felt lost, alienated, and loveless when I let lust of men rule my life. It is hard to put in words how this knowledge of God and how he knows me and wants a relationship trumps everything else. It is the inordinate attachment to things and objectifying people that is the sin and that it keeps you from knowing God. The Catholic Church teaches that you are NOT to condemn any person that has same sex attraction. Acting on these desires is where the sin comes but judgement is Gods not ours. Picking out events you deem proves the Church is hypocritical does not mean that God doesn’t exist and his commandments aren’t true it only means that the humans who are in the church are fallible. You don’t believe in God then ask him for knowledge that he exists, I’m sure he will answer.
          God Bless you.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            Most ex-gay Catholics I’ve known are either converts from more liberal religions or people who were raised without religion. Is that your story?

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            How is someone “ex-gay”? Can you be ex-straight?

          • pagansister

            Very good question, GoodCatholicGirl—one is either gay or not. There is no problem or sinful about being gay however.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            No, there isn’t. It’s how someone is “wired”. It’s neither here nor there.

          • pagansister

            Totally agree, GoodCatholicGirl. :o)

          • SavonarolasAshes

            I am gay. I have a same-sex orientation, and I find some value in it.
            I find common cause with those who are also persecuted for their orientation. I specifically avoid using the term SSA because it describes sexual attraction and nothing else, and seeing that orientation as benign and finding common cause with those persecuted for this orientation.

            I should have used the term anti-gay in referring to LivingTheLife. He finds no common cause with those persecuted for their orientation and he ascribes to an ideology which forbids advocating legal protections for them.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            I have worked in the fashion industry for most of my career so I work with many gay men. For the most part, they are in stable, long-term relationships. The single gay men are not hanging out in bars or picking up men; in fact, they lament that they can’t find a nice guy with whom they can settle down. Unfortunately, It seems many people think that to be gay means to be promiscious. That kind of life would lead anyone to despair whether they are gay or straight.

          • LivingTheLife

            I’m not ex gay I just choose not to act on these feelings, thoughts.
            I’m a catholic from childhood who struggled with my faith and how to deal with being gay / ssa. I came back to the faith after college and fell away again a few times. But God kept calling me back. I experienced his loving presence and I finally treated gay feelings as temptation to be rejected not my identity. It’s the same with any sin when you reject the sinful act you get a freedom from it. Confession put me back in a state of grace where I now receive Gods grace.
            I’m sure some of this seems strange to an unbeliever but it is the truth and you can know by asking God for your answer.

        • Jason Miller

          Research from the last 10 years across countries indicates that it is about 2 to 4% that have same sex attraction. Furthermore, it tends to vary across the lifespan with most “homosexual” individuals continuing to experiment with opposite sex sexual encounters. With regard to age, self-reports of homosexuality tend to peak around the twenties, then decline thereafter. So it is not nearly as common and set in stone as people imply.

          In addition, again you are outside of your league when you talk about “science.” If you can find research that indicates a direct link between “disordered leaks” and homosexual suicide, please let me know. People commit suicide for a variety of reasons, including loss of a loved one, serious mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, etc. For you to imply that all homosexual suicide is because of “disordered leaks” is both scientifically wrong and obviously agenda driven. One last bit of “science” – the human race cannot perpetuate itself without heterosexuals. That is why are sex organs are part of what is called the “reproductive system.” That is scientifically what they are for. So yes, homosexuality is objectively, scientifically, disordered. Just because something occurs with a certain frequency in the population does not mean that it is “normal.” Otherwise, why bother even classifying “alcohol dependence,” “obesity,” “schizophrenia,” or “hypertension” as disorders – they are common so they should be considered normal by your standards. What makes them disordered is they impair healthy functioning (i.e., life span, self-care, social and familial interaction, etc.).

          And lastly, I am sorry, but I have to just laugh in your face about Bishop Williamson and your objectively stupid article. Bishop Williamson is a member of a breakaway church – he is NOT Roman Catholic! He is already excommunicated! He wasn’t even ordained a priest or a Bishop by the Roman Catholic Church. He was ordained by a breakaway church! Our Pope has no authority over their church unfortunately or he would have been appropriately disciplined. You are so misinformed it is hilarious. I am sure to save yourself from humiliation, you are going to move onto some other topic to attack the Church. That is what you guys do – move the target around. But we’ve got your number now, so you should probably just move on.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            Jason, you’ve revealed position on the lunatic fringe of your field. Congratulations.

        • Julianne Wiley

          Stanley James:You have — inadvertently, I think — made a category mistake. When the Catholic Church speaks of “disordered,” she is not making a scientific, nor even a statistical claim. “Disordered” in Catholic terms would mean “directed toward a wrong end.” Sexuality was created to be directed toweard the good of man-woman complementarity, self-giving marital fidelity, and openness to the potential of creating new life from the love embrace itself. It mirrors the first moments of Creation, when love gives life.
          In this sense, it does not matter whether the number of gay-oriented people turns out to be 2%, 5% or 50%. Even if it were 100%, it would still be “disordered”. Look: sexual appetites or drives which are heterosexual but oriented toward promiscuity, or rape, or the chattel-subordination of women, or self-serving (rather than self-giving), or sterilized or porn-degraded or contracepted, are likewise disordered, even if they were universal within a (likewise disordered) society.
          The Lord wishes to receive you, and be received by you. I hope you will hear His call. I hope for your well-being in Him, as I hope for myself and all my dear ones.

        • De Gaulle

          Have you not considered you might be the one ‘brainwashed’? Your worldview is one that has been fashionable at only a few times and places in history, generally associated with civilisational decline. The moral concept of order/disorder long predates science, and in the Catholic context is something about which science can have nothing to say, like morality in general. Your accusations regarding Jews and ‘kids’ committing suicide are distasteful and without foundation. Your comment on the Pope and Williamson is just infantile. Can a mere opinion, no matter how misguided, not be forgiven? Opinions don’t amount to action.

    • RW

      I appreciate how you analyze this article through a Catholic lens, but I agree with the person below that singling out SSA is not only unfair to those who carry this cross, but it does nothing but further a condescending Catholic stereotype, something that Jesus himself would never condone. Everyone has their personal sins, results of Original Sin like you have stated, but we must not forget who Jesus surrounded himself with: the prostitutes, tax collectors, etc, those that the religious community had condemned to hell. We must approach all sinners with love, maintain that sin is evil, but always strive to the love the human.

  • Monica

    This is an interesting post. I never knew this side of Warhol. None of us is perfect and it makes me feel compassion for his soul. Although he may have caused scandal, I believe he did only by ignorance of what he was doing. After all, if we look within ourselves, how many of us cause scandal unknowingly by the things we do?

  • Louisa

    Great article! One minor thing I’d ask to be updated: the word rite in the phrase Ruthenian Rite Catholic.

    Like the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA (ACROD), the Byzantine Catholic Church uses a Ruthenian recension of the Byzantine Rite. Thirteen other Eastern Catholic Churches use the Byzantine Rite, as do all of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. As you can see, an Eastern Catholic cannot be identified by the rite that is used because it incorporates far too many Churches, both Catholic and Orthodox.

    Instead, Eastern Catholics are identified by which Church sui iuris they are enrolled in by virtue of their baptism and/or conversion. In Andy Warhol’s case, it was the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh, which is usually shortened to Byzantine Catholic Church, or there’s the distinguishment that they are not speaking for all Byzantines with the colloquial name of Ruthenian Catholic Church. And so, Andy Warhol was a Byzantine Catholic (or, colloquially, Ruthenian Catholic). And he was a celibate openly-homosexual modern pop artist whose paintings are among the most expensive ever sold and whose work in social commentary and the role of celebrity and marketing on American society is the subject of many books, lectures, articles, and discussions to this day, as this article wonderfully evidences. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Olivier

    Neat! I was chatting with a friend today about great Catholic artists of our time… Tolkien, O’Connor, etc… and I mentioned Warhol, but didn’t know much about his story. Thanks for the insights!

  • mary chapman

    Man, I would love to see that exhibit. I wonder if he ever imagined that the conceptual backing of a exhibition of his private religious work would be the eternal, unfailing generosity of Christ… beautiful.

  • Gail Finke

    I watched an “American Masters” PBS show on him that made him seem like an extremely evil person who pretty much poisoned everyone and everything around him. He tried to destroy art, and he created a place where evil people did evil things and people’s lives were ruined while he watched and did nothing. A biographer of his whom they interviewed said that at first he thought that Warhol was just plain evil, but eventually decided he wasn’t, quite. I don’t know more about him than that but I find it hard to reconcile with this idea of him secretly celibate, devout, and somehow pure — especially as the things that happened around him were designed and orchestrated by him in property that he owned and operated, not just things he happened to be around.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      This is my opinion as well. It was common knowledge about his celibacy and “devoutness” . This is nothing new to anyone who ever studied a single art class in high school or college. Whatever “pureness” about him he may have had cannot be reconciled with the rest.

  • laqross

    So he died a virgin? That’s a shame. Poor fellow.

    • Sophias_Favorite

      “So he died never having killed an enemy in open warfare? That’s a shame. Poor fellow.”

      • laqross

        So your making the argument that killing people is the same as sex?

        @Julianne Wiley: Of course there is no shame in virginity. I was merely expressing sorrow that, on a personal level, Andy Warhol never enjoyed sex. It seems like a pointless thing to deny oneself

        • GoodCatholicGirl

          It’s assumed that he was a virgin. Remember, this is Andy Warhol – he could very well have said that for the effect. No way to know this nor that he was celibate.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            He tried to have sex once. BTW, I don’t see how asking about a gay man’s virginity is any more appropriate than asking about a single woman’s virginity.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            It’s not at all which is my point, albeit poorly worded. Whether or not he was a virgin or celibate is no ones’s business. It doesn’t define him as good or bad but it seems that many here see him as a “good gay” because he supposedly did not engage in any kind of intimate relations.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            So, Andy Warhol is made an object, a weapon in a propaganda war. That is all homosexuals, virgin or not, mean to the Church.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            I think that is the aim of this blog -the fact that Andy Warhol claimed to be a virgin makes him OK, something all homosexuals should aspire to. I just don’t think that is realistic nor very Christian. Everyone has the right t be in a loving relationship.

          • pagansister

            GoodCatholicGirl—Excellent point. No one would actually know whether Andy was celibate or not. If not, however, his lovers must have kept their mouths shut all this time. Besides–one could have a broad definition of “celibate”.. After all, one of our presidents needed a definition of sex. “i never had sex with that woman—-” :o)

        • Sophias_Favorite

          I’m sorry, maybe have a grownup explain my point to you?

          Many civilizations have had the precise attitude about killing that you display toward sex—are you a bigot, that you think they’re wrong?

          • laqross

            And many civilizations do not. Point? I make distinctions on what’s right and wrong based on the world as I perceive it, not based on what culture or civilization I live in. And while it’s not wrong to be a virgin, denying yourself sex seems like a pointless thing to do.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            So it’s only a coincidence that your view is that of your civilization’s pop culture?

            Forgive me that I have not joined you in the herd of independent minds.

    • Tom
    • Julianne Wiley

      There’s no shame in virginity. A society that shames virginity is a society that oppresses the singular, the consecrated, the eccentric. the contemplative, the poor in spirit, the mystic and the child.

    • SavonarolasAshes

      I’d be more concerned that he died without having the experience of declaring his love for another and having that love appreciated, if not returned.

      • GoodCatholicGirl

        That would have been sad, indeed.

        • SavonarolasAshes

          Thanks for acknowledging that. I was born gay. I fell in love when I was a senior in college. Because I was baptized and confirmed as a Catholic I chose to love selflessly and without sexual thoughts. He loved me in return. I chose to put the my beloveds future, as I imagined it, as a husband and father ahead of my emotional needs. I said “Good bye.” I find no shame in any of that. A Church that expects me to feel shame for it is evil.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            Noble of you, indeed but there would have been not have been shameful or evil if you had pursued your love. What’s shameful and evil is making someone feeling bad about themselves. I don’t think Jesus would have done that.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            Boy, am I a bad typist today! I meant to say that it would not have
            shameful or evil if you had pursued your love.

  • Stanley James

    he most important job IMHO for the worlds gay community is breaking the
    closet of segregation. Once people realize that people they know and
    respect are gay, the whole dammed business of disparagement of gtay
    people will come to an end.

    Sure there will always be haters. Most of them are probably using REACTION FORMATION to hide what they are.

    • Stanley James

      see alittel further down the link to REACTION FORMATION from wikipedia

      • Jason Miller

        Psychologist here – please, please, please don’t use psychological terms to disparage people. The helping professions shouldn’t be used as your weapon to bash. You could never use the term reaction formation until you spent time working with an individual. I am afraid that many folks with your agenda misuse and contort terms in my field for your own advantages – throwing around terms like denial, repression, phobia, etc. It is like folks insensitively throwing around the term “retarded.” It denigrates humanity and our field terribly. If you are angry about “haters,” fine. Express it as such. But don’t drag my field through the mud.

        • SavonarolasAshes

          A scientist doesn’t whore his discipline to superstition.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Nor to politics—which is what they were doing when they took homosexuality out of the DSM without any new research whatsoever.

            Just FYI, the guy who tabled the motion to declassify it as a pathology has since decided homosexuality is usually a maladaptive coping mechanism for childhood sexual abuse—that is, it is a pathology.

  • Tom Hughes

    Surprising post! I remember in the sixties going to an opening at the “Factory” in the Village. The people ranged from moneyed Upper East Siders to the most avant-garde of the flower children. There was some sort of punch served from garbage cans, and the seating, lining the walls were toilets! That was a little unnerving. I was introduced to Andy Warhol. He appeared to either have a pale grey powder on his face or else he just exhibited the pallor of death. He was as bland as his complexion; it seemed as if he exhibited a shell that protected his fragile interior. At the same time he seemed to show a totally unprotected personality. Needless to say I was in between disgust and shock at the whole affair.

    As an artist myself I have read many biographies of other artists. I’m sorry to say most of them were quite depressing, for example Goya was a necrophiliac. The life of an artist in many cases is filled with filled with overwhelming passions, aspirations, depressions and joys. Thank god for him. Aside from some flower lithographs Andy did I really didn’t care for his art, including his films.

    I do, however have a lot of compassion for him. and may god have mercy on his soul, and mine!

  • Tom Hughes

    In my recent comment I found an omission about: how much “I appreciated Fra Angelico. He really lifted my spirits.” It was after …and joys, near the end of the second paragraph. Sorry!

  • Mgug

    Is it important to distinguish between celibacy and continence? I mean, I guess he was celibate but does that necessarily imply that he did not engage in some type of sexual activity?

    • Louisa

      Very good point. Continent is a much better choice than celibate for this situation.

  • DeaconJR

    Hi, Marc–you wrote: “Now truly, Mr. Warhol was openly, undeniably gay, a laudable feat in a time less friendly to men with same-sex attraction.”
    Why is this feat “laudable”? Is that what you really meant to say? I confess to not seeing the point of this piece–at all. Warhol was not merely “gay and Catholic” but also (from a Catholic perspective) gay, Catholic, and fundamentally and profoundly confused about the very meaning of human sexuality and marriage, judging from quotes on the subject attributed to him.
    There is more than one way to engage the pornographic culture. The mere fact that Warhol did not sexually act out with other people (if this is true) does not do much to mitigate the deep and abiding *affirmation* given the pornographic culture by Warhol both in words and in art. Others with his aesthetic sensibilities remained attached aesthetically to the Church’s liturgy while retaining a fundamentally morally bankrupt world view. And, indeed he may have personally struggled with this, but I simply can’t see what point you wish to make in your post.
    God bless you,
    Deacon JR

    • Frank


      Surely it is laudable to be able to tell the world you are struggling with sin.

      Perhaps Marc overemphasizes good qualities that Andy Warhol had, but I’d invite you to read the comments written below by Catholics who have same-sex attraction and then search for a purpose in writing this blog post.


      • DeaconJR

        Hi, Frank–yes, surely it would be laudable to be able to tell the world you are struggling with sin.
        Is that what Warhol did? I’d say not. Can you cite a Warhol quote identifying the pornified culture he glorified as sin? And that he was struggling against it?
        Everything I’ve seen to date makes it clear that Warhol was fundamentally opposed to the truth of both marriage and human sexuality and used his creative talents (not necessarily exclusively but quite definitely) to advocate against those truths.
        God bless you,
        Deacon JR

        • Tasha

          Deacon, if this is true..shouldn’t actions speak louder than words? He admitted to being celibate, publicly. Unfortunately though, his followers did not focus on that. They pretty much dismissed it! I don’t hold him responsible for those who were in darkness.

          • Frank


            I don’t think Warhol can be fully separated from those who follow him. I’m sure Warhol would have had influence on their consciences.

            That being said though, I think the article brings to light a great point, that people struggle, and there isn’t always a clear cut definition of a person’s life. While not the best example of a person who fought for the Church, he is certainly an example of a very public figure whose life was very complicated. And I don’t think I’m in a position to say what Warhol was fundamentally opposed to, while I will say that he often led people astray.

            I think there is a difference, perhaps not the most profound difference.

          • Diogenes

            And with equal credibility I’ll admit to being a Chinese jet pilot, publicly. But, I guess some folks are bound to believe anything.

  • Kirk

    I am hopeful that this knowledge of him will come out and people will see how one can live this cross and not sin with it. I don’t know much about him but I am sure he had much much more peace in his life then the ones that chose to act out thier desires and sin. Yes he still sinned by encouragement of others to sin but maybe God ha a plan for him and it is still in its infant stages.

  • mitchell

    I think if you want an authentic example of a devout modern artist livig in the cross section of two worlds, look no further than Salvador dali.

  • joycelen

    What a wonderful insightful piece. I don’t know how some of the people who have critical things to say can reach those conclusions. I just say, thank you for writing this. A complex man it seems but one who never forgot the true Truth. Let God judge him.

    • CDPJ

      It’s called looking at Catholic teaching beyond just one particular issue. As far as let God judge him, then let’s let that be the case in every case and let’s praise all people everywhere no matter what, allowing God to judge accordingly.

  • Corey F.

    I’m not sure how much his own personal devotion absolves him of what he did to art or his complicity in rendering deeply immoral choices acceptable. Nonetheless, I find it refreshing to learn that he was devout. I suspect that his situation is similar to Oscar Wilde’s: somehow Wilde’s deep affection for Catholicism and his deathbed conversion is diminished in the face of his decadent homosexuality. To mention Wilde’s or Warhol’s Catholicism makes them both less appropriate-able as icons for the gay community, so the answer is, of course, simply to ignore the inconvenient religious aspects of their biographies.

    • Bill M.

      Wilde’s decadent homosexuality is diminished in the face of his deathbed conversion, not the other way around.

      • Corey F.

        I meant that his Catholicism is diminished in the face of his homosexuality for the homosexuals who want to turn him into a gay icon. Sorry, should have been clearer.

        • SavonarolasAshes

          No. Not really. Celibate gays are better accepted by other gays than they are by Catholics who want to objectify them as weapons against other gays.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            The stats do not bear you out.

  • ClassicalTeacher

    Why did he wear a wig?

  • GoodCatholicGirl

    How odd that can get so warm and fuzzy over Andy Warhol. I am very fond of his art but his movies, not so much. You can’t deny that his films leave much to be desired. Blow Job? Lonesome Cowboys? Blue Movie (starring one of his most famous stars, Viva having casual sex and nothing else)? These were more than art house movies. They glorified the underground – gay sex, anonymous straight sex, transvestism ( another star, Jackie Curtis was a guy who wore lipstick, stockings and torn dresses). I have no doubt that Andy Warhol was a good person – he gave generously to the poor, helped finance his nephew’s seminary education and yes, attended daily Mass (although his priest has no recollection of him every receiving Communion or going to confession). That he was gay and celibate is nice although no one has any way of knowing that he was a virgin I’m not going to argue whether or not being a practicing gay is sinful or not. It just seems that you are holding him up as something that all gays can aspire to which is unrealistic and in a way, condescending. . Anyone who took so many nude pictures of gay men and made so many movies with gay subjects had to have a little more going on than meets the eye.

    • SavonarolasAshes

      “[N]o one has any way of knowing that he was a virgin.” Do you find Bosh’s Garden of Earthly Delights erotic or repulsive? Perhaps, Warhol’s “erotic” films are tawdry and repulsive because he intended them to be so.

      • gaudiumdei

        And we all stop for a moment and ponder the name “Flannery O’Connor”…

  • Manny

    I had no idea and found it very touching. God bless his soul. Gay or not, he sounds like he was more devout than me.

  • wirewrapper

    I know this about Andy Warhol because I am a Catholic from Pittsburgh, Who knows the Parish he supposedly attended. I also have a Master’s degree in Art and have been to the Andy Warhol Musuem, if Andy Warhol was such a great Catholic how come he did the drugs he is recorded as doing, and made the homosexual drag queen movies he did. Being gay is not a sin but being prideful of it can be. And he was a champion of gay pride. Andy Warhol is not who this artcile is making him out to be. From what I have read and heard he stopped going to Church once he left his home in Pittsburgh. He moved to New York and bult the “factory” of pseudo art, (my opinon) that wasn’t even made by himself. Andy Warhol was fraud who and this article is a fraudulent representation of a very twisted man who was more bent on progressing the homosexual agenda than that of the Catholic Church

    • rsmyth75

      did we read the same article??? please read it again! the writer clearly states he is not trying to make a saint out of him. to call his art pseudo and not original shows ur ignorance and biais. i can’t believe u have a master degree in art

      • De Gaulle

        Warhol’s is certainly not great art, a very rare thing nowadays, or anything near it; it more approximates kitsch. Great art is Michaelangelo, Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Chesterton, Tolkien. Perhaps Bob Dylan in our own time. Definitely not Warhol.

        • pagansister

          De Gaulle; Art is always seen differently by different people. Everyone’s eyes do not appreciate a piece of art the same—so while you don’t like or consider Warhol’s work as art, lots of folks did. I like some of it, but not all. Picasso has some works I like and some I don’t. No one is expected to appreciate everything that some folks consider “art”.

    • Bill M.

      The article didn’t claim he was a ‘great Catholic’, only a practicing one. And what is a ‘great Catholic’, anyway?

      • Silence Dogood

        A great Catholic, is in fact one who practices his or her faith to its fullest. Mr. Warhol was a fallen man just like all of us. He exceeded his faith in many areas and failed in others, just like all of us. However, Mr. Warhol’s pride is something to examined. His celibacy is certainly something to be celebrated, but his blatant espousal of homosexuality and its progression are at odds with Catholic Church teaching. In this manner Mr. Warhol was not practicing his Catholic faith.

        • Michael Poston

          A great Catholic is one whose’s relationship with Christ brings him/her into greater communion with the Body of Christ. While there are some people we expressly cannot canonize, we should recognize the struggle of particular souls whose struggles we cannot fully understand. The emphasis should always be upon the good and marvel at how grace can still break through even very perverted situations. Call to mind the tale “Brideshead Revisited” by Evelyn Waugh.

          • Hugh McLoughlin

            Andy Warhol was a sinner. Surprise, surprise. That’s why Christ died on the Cross: because all Catholics are sinners. Cardinal Winning — who was a family friend and our PP when I was at High School — once said to me that if you wanted to meet a Saint, the Sacred College of Cardinals was the wrong place to look. And if he “he stopped going to Church once he left his home in Pittsburgh” then maybe the story at home was that he had stopped going to a Ruthenian Church, but he seem to have taken up with the Romans in New York. And even if he didn’t receive Holy Communion or go to Confession (a la GoodCatholicGirl above), that is the significance of the Thief Who Repented. His death bed was a cross, but that night he was with Him in Paradise. What do we know of what was in Andy Warhol’s heart when he died? Until reading this post I never even knew there was a possibility that it may have been repentence for his sins. That possibility did come as a surprise to me. But then I only live in the West of Scotland and am by no means an artist and have never been accused of being one. Let alone any of Warhol’s other things.

          • Michael Poston

            Well put. I think we at least understand Marc’s intention in this article. We cannot ever judge anyone’s heart. The age old adage is still the same: hate the sin not the sinner.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          A great Catholic, is in fact one who practices his or her faith to its fullest.

          In other words, no one is a great Catholic.

    • Carl Philipp Gaebler

      “if Andy Warhol was such a great Catholic”
      What was the title of this blog again?

    • pagansister

      There is a problem with being a champion of gay pride, wirewrapper? Gay people are people too. Nothing to be ashamed of—

  • Proteios1

    Didn’t know this. The person deserves credit for exerting some discipline. We all have our cross to ber. pick it up and follow Christ. although, i hope he confessed the leading others to sin part as often as relevant. I do give a person credit for foregoing any desire or drive tht would take him or her out of communion. A lot of groups, politicians and individuals could learn from tht. Me included.

    • CDPJ

      No. I hope he confessed, repented, and turned away from leading others to sin. Going to confession, and then going back to business as usual, while a great anti-Catholic stereotype, is not Catholic doctrine. I don’t know what he did when all was said and done. But it takes more than just confessing sin. By that logic, one could produce pornography, confess producing pornography, then go back to producing pornography without missing a spiritual beat. I fear that’s not how it works.

  • CDPJ

    “Mr. Warhol was openly, undeniably gay, a laudable feat in a time less friendly to men with same-sex attraction.”

    I guess I just don’t get where this post was trying to go. Somehow, this idea that as long as there is no physical contact, there is nothing more praiseworthy than homosexual attraction and the open celebrating of it, sounds more like theology of the talk show, than 2000 years of Christian teaching on the subject. Sure, homosexual attraction in and of itself is not a sin, anymore than alcoholism or the temptation to overeat is a sin. But none of those particular orientations are lauded either. Nobody says ‘wow, he may never have a drink, but I love how he is so open about his alcoholism ‘ If acknowledged at all, it’s seen as a very unfortunate, burdensome trait that causes endless struggles, and only the ability to resist it is ever seen as praiseworthy. The alcoholic may be praised for resisting the temptations but the alcoholism itself is never seen as anything other than a disease to be fought and overcome.

    Also, does the fact that he went to Mass or was celibate take away from his life promoting that pornographic culture that he immersed himself in? How does that square with ‘and if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…’? Do teachings like that even matter anymore in modern Catholicism?

  • jsmith

    Hopefully, this article about Andy Warhol will bring homosexuals and other sinners to Jesus Christ. = Forgiveness of sins is for everyone. … “O my Jesus … lead ALL souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your Mercy.”

    • SavonarolasAshes

      What can we do to save Catholic homophobes from the damnation that awaits them?

      • GoodCatholicGirl

        Pray for them!

  • siobhàn

    There was one mystic, perhaps 17th century, that was given a vision of a man in Purgatory that painted porn. He was ‘stuck’ in Purgatory until his paintings were destroyed…just something to let others know

    • De Gaulle

      Appropriate, Siobhan, because the damage continues, until they are destroyed, and no longer visible.

  • SavonarolasAshes

    Your use of the terminology “same sex attraction” is reductionist and offensive.

    • tedseeber

      Yet far more accurate than “homosexual” or “gay”- separating the impulse to sin, from actually sinning.

      If that’s offensive to you, I fear you may be in danger of hating the sinner as well as the sin.

      • SavonarolasAshes

        “Same sex attraction” is simple-minded, and prurient. For homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, the greatest experience of romantic love is self-sacrifice for the beloved. It exists in celibacy, and it is the only thing that makes it endurable. To rob gay people of this by reducing their condition to a pre-determined response to an impulse is dehumanizing and ignoble.

    • De Gaulle

      The term is the opposite of reductive, because it implies the subject is a person with a particular trait which is not their be-all and end-all, whereas the term homosexual seems to imply that this is all there is to know about a person. As regards the other, well, one can choose to be offended by anything, if you want.

      • SavonarolasAshes

        Gay implies that one is unapologetic, even appreciative, about the way one was born. Anything else is despair and a sin against the Holy Spirit.

        Why do so many of you pander to despair in other people? Isn’t despair as bad as lust?

        • De Gaulle

          There is no evidence whatsoever, in any credible scientific treatise that I am aware of, that homosexuality has any organic cause. Be my guest to provide some references. It is a series of choices, why are you trying to deny this, or are you ashamed that you made these choices, and are you trying to hide behind something that clears you of any responsibility?

          • SavonarolasAshes

            All lies. There is no physical evidence for your faith either. Is that a reason for bringing in the lions?

          • Sophias_Favorite

            You think it is, killer. Don’t you know more Catholics were killed by piggies like you in the 20th century alone than they have killed in all of history, by a factor of about 5?

        • Sophias_Favorite

          The condition one was born in is called “original sin”. You’re not supposed to be happy about that.

          Damn, I’ve seen some dumb anti-Catholic trolls in my time, but you’re probably the worst.

  • Guest

    Is that Gadalf next to Jesus on the right in the last picture?

  • BadWriter

    Awesome, so I can do whatever I want if I attend church and remain celibate. Nice to know.

  • Maggie

    I never knew this about Andy Warhol, thanks for sharing!

  • okramsey

    Thank you so much for the article….it changed my whole opinion of the man (and made me feel guilty for judging him in the first place)

  • Rosemary

    I love Andy as much as the next art lover/Pittsburgher, but I find this article misleading. See this one for better info:
    And did you really just quote a eulogy as proof of his virginity?

  • haha

    Andy Warhol was Autistic spectrum disorder !

  • tom

    Love your work. But I think Dawn Eden makes a good point here. She is a step ahead of the rest of us. My 2 cents

    tom in Ohio

  • Bonnie

    What is his responsibility for giving scandal? I think quite a lot. Whether he was moral in himself, his public persona and his actions often gave scandal. That counts for quite a lot, I think.

  • SavonarolasAshes

    Thanks for writing the article. It led me to the PBS Warhol documentary on American Masters. I found some inspiration in it.

  • GregCz

    Did not know that about him – God Bless him for his faith.

  • Supergirl333

    He painted, filmed, and photographed the obscene, the homoerotic, the trashy and the lewd, but never seriously engaged in it, saying himself that ”after 25 you should look but never touch.”

    Even if he attended Mass regularly and prayed the rosary, his actions mentioned above put his soul in a grave and mortal state of sin. Remember, priests celebrate Mass and say prayers and can lead sinful lives.

  • David

    It’s not clear what the real conclusion and purpose of the article is, but it is strange on various levels. For one, the use of the term “gay” is certainly not part of Catholic teaching. Its use is usually for the purpose of denying that such attractions are disordered and to identify someone with their sexual attractions and a “lifestyle.” Even though Warhol may have not been active, to be “openly gay” and to not admit or deny that such attractions are disordered and not in God’s plan for people is still very dangerous. Same sex attractions are also detrimental to the human person, precisely as it is an abnormal condition from which people suffer. It is one thing to be a chaste homosexual and another to be such but still think there is nothing wrong with one’s condition.

    Some of his “art” also betrayed him, as sexual perversion was arguably promoted therein. It seems the author may have had too much of Christopher West’s distorted teaching of TOB here(more correctly known as the Catecheses on Human Love.) It is not the first time he has shown some disturbing ideas in this regard. The article seems to be promoting a moral minimalism, and that the slightest hint of Catholicity in celebrities should be used as some sort of example to promote the faith.

    • SavonarolasAshes

      “It is one thing to be a chaste homosexual and another to be such but still think there is nothing wrong with one’s condition.”

      Unless homosexuals hate themselves for the way they were born, they are unacceptable to the Church. Homosexuals are tolerated if they are invisible or allow themselves to be used as weapons of propaganda against others like them.

      The Catholic church is setting the stage for yet another Holocaust.

      • Sophias_Favorite

        Piggy, all the research says homosexuals aren’t born that way.

        But aren’t Catholics supposed to be the ones who don’t respect science?

        • GoodCatholicGirl

          Do you really think that people would CHOOSE to be discriminated against, reviled, ridiculed? ALL the research shows that homosexuals aren’t born that way?

          • Sophias_Favorite

            You assume the only options are “choice” and “born that way”.

            The research suggests, rather, that homosexuality is a maladaptive coping strategy with childhood sexual abuse. This research comes from the very psychologist who first tabled the motion to remove same-sex attraction from the APA’s list of sexual disorders.

            Forgive me, I know science can be such a challenge to one’s traditional dogmas.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            And if there is no history of abuse? Then again, if the theory is correct, than it would mean that the priests who abused children are responsible for causing them to become homosexual.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            The stats say it correlates very strongly with abuse, so…what do you usually do when two strongly correlated things don’t appear together? What do you do when getting more than 50 millisieverts radiation doesn’t give you cancer?

            Also, since we’re talking stats, you do know that clergy in general have the lowest rate of sex-abuse of pretty much the entire populace, right? And that priests have the lowest rate of clergy? The highest rates of child sex-abuse are by teachers and men who are involved with the victim’s mother—fathers, stepfathers, boyfriends—that’s probably why priests have a lower rate than married clergies.

            And even the bad priests didn’t abuse “children”, 90% of the victims were post-pubescent males. Know what that’s called? Gay rapists, not child molesters. There was an actual, documented conspiracy by the homosexual subcultures at a couple of seminaries in the 60s and 70s, to prey on teenage boys. I don’t know if you think you’re making a point, or what, but the actual facts of the matter don’t help the position you appear to be trying to advance.

          • pagansister

            Bit of nit-picking there, SF? I suppose the victims (you say 90%) were post-pubescent males makes things OK, as those post-pubescent males probably came on to the innocent priests? Heard that as one excuse at one point. There is a difference in gay rape and child molesters? REALLY? Both are totally “sinful” and sick. Your number of 90% being older seems a bit high to me. Would that include every country in the world as a percentage or just the USA? As for the other professions & family having higher rates of abuse? Don’t know if your numbers are accurate,(you seem to want to toss out your researched numbers) but that is just as wrong as the RCC priests—no one denies that.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            No, it just makes them not children. Unlike the 7-year-olds your precious pagans routinely raped.

            Why is “sinful” in quotes? Is not all wrongdoing sinful?

            As for whether 90% seems high to you, who cares how it seems to you? It probably also seems high that 95.4% of the universe is dark matter or dark energy—but that’s true, too.

            Plainly you lack the intelligence for this discussion to be worthwhile.

          • pagansister

            Whatever. Bye again.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            You misconstrued what I wrote. I do not think that most priests or clergymen are abusers; I choose to think that most area good men. I also do not think that most of the abusers are gay. A homosexual subculture in seminaries? Oh, really!
            You accuse me of making some dotty point but I have no idea what the heck your point is! My point is that I choose to think well of people in general until/unless one particular person proves to not be good. In that case, I will change my opinion of that one person not the whole group to which they belong. It’s how Catholics are suppose to behave towards one another, is it not?

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Yes, really.

            Plainly you have never read a single word about how the scandal actually happened, yet you offer opinions anyway. People do not have a right to opinions that are totally divorced from facts.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            My original answer got lost in the shuffle -
            So, only abuse can make someone gay? Hmm, let’s explore that theory . . .
            Using this reasoning, we then have to conclude that the priests who abused children were actually responsible for them becoming gay adutls. So, in the prient’s warped minds, it would have been acceptable for them to have sex with children and young teenagers but once they were done with them, these newly-formed homosexuals were not to ever have sexual relations again becauese they would then be sinning.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            One problem, genius.

            Those priests didn’t consider homosexual sex a sin. Know why? They were gayer than springtime. They had all gone to a couple of seminaries known as “Pink Palaces”, with highly conspiratorial gay subcultures known as the “Lavender Mafia”. It’s all documented in Michael Rose’s book, “Goodbye, Good Men”.

            There is no warped idea of condemning victims for things you did to them, these guys were just run of the mill textbook homos who happened to be into rape. I know—not nearly as interesting an episode of Law & Order Special Victims Unit, but maybe we should learn to tell real life from TV, mmmkay?

            Seriously, quit spinning out your quaint conspiracy theories about religious hypocrisy, the facts do not support them. Fire melts steel, we actually went to the moon, and generally speaking when a dude rapes a teenage boy there’s a damn simple explanation.

            Gautama H. Buddha, woman, do you actually think those priests put up more than a passing pretense of orthodoxy? Plainly, you are either a lunatic or a goddamn idiot.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            First of all, stop calling me names. I do not claim to be a genius nor am I an idiot or lunatic. I am a Catholic who tries to be fair to everyone, as I was taught to be.
            How can you accuse me of spinning “quaint conspiracy theories”? You’re sounding like Richard Belzer, speaking of L&O SVU. Pink Palaces? Lavender Mafia? Gayer than springtime? Run of the mill homosexuals rapists? Are you living in the 21st century? What is the simple explanation about a “dude” raping a teenage boy? From what understand, rape is about power not lust.
            I can’t even figure out where you’re coming from with this. I have nothing against priests; I’ve liked just about all I’ve had any dealings with in my lifetime and as far as I know, none have been child molesters, whether gay(yes, one of our pastors was openly gay) or straight.

          • pagansister

            SF has a way of attempting to try and sound very intellectual, have you noticed? Likes to name other posters, especially since she has ALL the information and no one else does. According to her this college graduate grandmother is working on the middle school level. :o) I’m apparently “cupcake”. YUK! Anyhow, rape is rape and I agree with you that it is about power not lust. SF seems to think that if a male over puberty is abused, it really isn’t that, it is “gay rape”, not molestation. If it is was forced then it is totally a crime–whether one wishes to label it as “molestation” or “gay rape”, depending on the age of the child!

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            It seems that SF likes to bait people. I suppose it makes her feel superior to call you cupcake and me a lunatic. Maybe we’re reading her all wrong . .. . perhaps her posts are jokes and we’ve fallen for them . . . ya think?

          • pagansister

            GoodCatholicGirl: I’d like to think her posts are jokes, and she has taken us in—-but why do I think she is actually serious, which I think is a bit sad? Expressing an opinion and/or what a person feels are “factual studies” can be done without putting down the other posters with sarcasm and name calling. Possibly a sign of low self esteem? :o)

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Have you read Michael Rose’s “Goodbye, Good Men”? It’s pretty much the definitive analysis of the scandal.

            And sorry, but “Pink Palace” really was what some of those seminaries were nicknamed, because of their highly active homosexual subcultures. Likewise the way the subculture’s members would cover for each other got them nicknamed the “Lavender Mafia”.

            As for “power not lust”, you are asserting that a homosexual is no more likely to indulge in homosexual rape than a heterosexual? I’d love to see your statistical basis for that, because none of the stats I am aware of say that. Just the reverse, in fact.

            I assure you, none of the priests responsible for the scandal consider homosexuality a sin—which you said they did. Their views on sex were more in like with Alfred Kinsey than Humanae Vitae.

          • pagansister

            GoodCatholicGirl; If Sopia’s statement is true, then you are right—the priests were like Vampires—they were in the process of “turning” the children they molested! :o) However, the newly made Vampires were not to “bite” anyone else to “turn” them because that would b a sin.

        • pagansister

          Seriously, SF, you must have read different research than I have. Where have you been/ No one wants to be hated/discriminated against because they are attracted to a person of the same gender. At least I wouldn’t. It is so not a choice.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            There is no discrimination, other than the kind of discrimination that distinguishes food and dirt, in saying that marriage must involve two sexes.

            Also, calling male and female “genders” is not only inaccurate—those are sexes, “gender” refers to a linguistic category—it’s also Eurocentric. In Navajo there are thirteen genders, and none of them has anything to do with male or female—also they inflect the verbs having to do with motion, not nouns or adjectives. The Bantu languages often have over ten genders, again none of which has to do with the sexes. The two genders in many of the modern Indic and Finno-Ugraic languages, as well as in the extinct Anatolian and I believe Tocharian languages, are “animate” and “inanimate”—marrying a fellow member of those genders is considered normal, at least till people start demanding the sacred “human right” to take their blowup dolls as spouses.

            Say that can’t happen? There are already otaku asking to marry fictional characters in Japan, 3D.

          • pagansister

            Good god, SF, who are you trying to impress? I’m so not impressed. Since I’m not Navajo, or speak Bantu, etc. I’ll stick with male & female genders. And sometimes the same gender (sex if you will) is attracted to the same one they are. Sticking with a gay person is born the the way they are just like a heterosexual is born the way they are. Working on your PhD or something?

          • Sophias_Favorite

            You’re indulging in Orwellian Newspeak by deliberately calling one thing—sex—by the name of another thing—gender. Unfortunately, as I demonstrated, that’s wrong.

            Where’s your proof that gays are born that way? Every attempt to find a gene for it has come up zeroes.

          • pagansister

            Like I said above, SF, your lack of self esteem is obvious, and your rudeness totally unnecessary. Perhaps when you learn some manners, communication would be possible. Bye.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Your attempt to psychoanalyze me is quaint.

            You were the one who got my username wrong, hag, that’s a pretty goddamn huge violation of netiquette.

            Don’t let the door hit you where you keep your brains.

  • Angel

    Thanks for the great article. I had no idea. I now admire the man

  • Stephen Sottile

    Very interesting. His art was never “my thing,” but this article makes him more human to me.

  • Applejack

    I’m confused (I’m dead serious, I found this blog off another site and have never read anything by you before). Marc: are you a Catholic or a non-believer? You say in your article, or at least you seem to, laud Warhol for his celibacy, yet in your opening paragraph, you sound like an anti-Christian with phrases like “It is considerably frustrating that Mr. Warhol was an ardent, believing, and practicing Ruthenian Rite Catholic”

  • Steve Martin

    We all struggle with sin. We all have them and we all have our secrets. But we do not advocate or flaunt our sin. We live in constant repentance and forgiveness. It is the life of the believer.

    But we ought never accept or normalize our sin or use it as a political platform.