Famous People You Forgot Were Catholic

Marc Barnes posts here on five famous people you forgot were Catholic: the writer Jack Kerouac, Chief Sitting Bull, Salvador Dali, John Wayne and oh yeah….Nancy Pelosi. What other famous people would you add who many people don’t know were Catholic?

My list: writer J.R.R.Tolkien, film director Alfred Hitchcock, mythologist Joseph Campbell, actor Alec Guiness and actress and princess Grace Kelly,

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  • jose

    Michael Moore, Hugo Chávez, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

  • Deacon Norb

    Nice list — perhaps I can add a few:
    –Six of the current nine Justices of the United States Supreme Court are Roman Catholic.
    –Ohio Representative to Congress John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, is Roman Catholic; attended Cincinnati Moeller High School (where he played football under the legendary football coach Gerry Faust) and did his undergraduate work at Xavier University/Cincinnati.
    –A lot of folks believe Shakespeare was Catholic but there is some argument here. On the other hand, there is no argument that his predecessor in English Drama — Christopher Marlowe — was Catholic.
    –A Victorian English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins was Catholic.
    –Finally, the only U. S. Army Chaplains who ever won the Congressional Medal of Honor (both in Vietnam) were both Roman Catholic priests.

    • Frank

      Absolute nonsense that Marlowe was Catholic. Where is your evidence? Does it tally with his work for the Privy Council at Rheims or his authorship of ‘The Massacre at Paris’, a play whose anti-Catholicism is evident from the start?

  • Jay E.

    Campbell was Catholic? I should have known.

    • http://byzantinechesterton.blogspot.com Seraphim

      Only returning to the Church on his deathbed, however.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Babe Ruth and Gregory Peck.

  • deiseach

    Mozart (there is much enthusiasm for him being a Freemason, based on his opera “The Magic Flute”, but I’m more inclined to think he was a lapsed Catholic, like many of our brothers and sisters); Haydn (to quote Wikipedia “Haydn was a devout Catholic who often turned to his rosary when he had trouble composing, a practice that he usually found to be effective”); Mons. Georges Lemaitre, Belgian priest, physicist and author of the Big Bang theory (not the television show); Fr. Gregor Mendel, Augustinian friar and scientist, the ‘Father of Genetics’ (and for every school textbook that mentions Mendelian genetics, how many mention that little detail that, not alone was he a religious believer, not alone was he a Roman Catholic, he was a member of a religious order?); Louis Pasteur (again, famously devout, but accounts of his life tend to downplay this as either attachment to the forms of his family religion or more passionate about science than matters of doctrine).

  • tioedong

    Oscar Wilde, at least on his deathbed, was Catholic, as was Tennessee Williams, who had a Catholic funeral.
    and don’t forget Shusaku Endo, the Japanese Nobel Prize winning writer.
    and the Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu.

  • Tom in South Jersey

    Copernicus who gave us the heliocentric solar system was not just Catholic , but also a priest.

  • tioedong

    oh yes: John Wayne, Bob Hope, Delores hope, Gracie Allen and of course Loretta Young.
    and don’t forget Mortimer Adler, the philosopher.

  • Lisa in Florida
  • Matthew the Wayfarer

    I hate to put a damper on this skipping through LALALAND but people who have rejected their Catholic faith or abandoned it by their actions and are therefore self ex-communicate or have converted to other religions are no longer authentic and true Catholics. People are not “BORN” Catholics like Jews are born Jewish. If they repent and are restored to the Body of Christ that’s one thing but whenever I hear someone say they were born Catholic it makes me cringe. Even in Judaism if they convert to any other religion they are counted as ‘dead’. Not just Christianity which is the one mostly talked about but all religions. Also, if they make teshuvah (repent, turn around) they are received back but how many really, honestly do that. Karl Marx was not a Jew as both parents converted to Lutheranism long before his birth and they never practiced. Baby Karl was baptized an Anglican I believe.
    Just be careful who you label as Catholics. I’m just sayin’.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Who said Karl Marx was Catholic?

  • Nan

    @Lisa in Florida, Andy Warhol was Ruthenian (Byzantine Rite Catholic).

    Josh Hartnett, Joe Mauer, Alfred Hitchcock.

  • Mary Ann Bernard

    Chesterton, Belloc, Tolkein. The novelist Dean Koontz. Former UK PM Tony Blair (convert).

  • Ray Wheeler

    Dean Martin was raised Catholic and after he became a star with Jerry Lewis kn the early 1050′s he regularly sent money to the Catholic church he attended in Steubenville, OH and his parish school too. He did this at least into the 1980′s.

  • veritas

    Matthew the Wayfarer has a very valid point.
    Simply because someone was born or baptised a Catholic does not mean that they remained faithful to their Faith. In fact many so called Catholics are somewhat of an embarrassment to the Church.
    For others, such as Tolkein, their faith permeated all they accomplished.

  • Andres

    John F. Kennedy was catholic…. Ehhh, our vice president… Biden…. Ehhhh… I don’t know… Ohhh, a future multimillionaire, me…

  • Charles Mac Kay

    If you get the chance watch Alex Guinnes and Leo McKern in Mosigneur Quixote written by Graham Greene and broadcast in 1985. Years before Guinnes was asked to play a Priest. During filming he was in clerical garb. Children asked him to take them across the road. Alex was so enamoured with the children’s excitement at being with a priest he found out more. And so Alex Guinnes received the keys of the kingdom from a child’s hand


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