Andy Warhol - ardent and devout Catholic

Gay icon, and celibate Catholic!

And John Richardson [from “Warhol at Home” in Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters (London: Pimlico, 2001), p. 247-8]:

“To believe the envious Truman Capote, Andy was a Sphinx without a secret. In fact, he did have a secret, one that the kept dark from all but his closest friends: he was exceedingly devout - so much so that he made daily visits to the church of Saint Vincent Ferrer on the Upper East Side of Manhattan… Although famously thrifty, he was also secretly charitable. Besides giving financial support, he often spent evenings working in a shelter for the homeless run by the Church of the Heavenly Rest. It was not soppy social consciousness or guilt that prompted Andy’s good works; it was atavism as personified by his adored and adoring mother, the pious Julia.”

I found this a very interesting and heartening article because it shows to the world that the Church can encompass all people, while on the other hand all people can live up to the Church’s teaching even though they contradict the world.

I found a meme about Warhol and Catholicism and even BadCatholic talked about that very issue. :slight_smile:

Huh… who’d have thought. Well, it’s good to know that he lived in accordance with the church, at least privately. Too bad he wasn’t more public about it, it could have helped stave off some of the anti-Catholic notions a lot of the homosexual-agenda people have.

Wow, I am flat-out


by this! I had NO IDEA that Andy Warhol was a Catholic!!! Wow. I love that photo of him meeting Blessed JPII, how stunning!

Celibate, gay Catholic. Amazing.

May God rest his soul.

We may never be praying to St. Andy since many of his paintings may be the “occasion of sin” (his pictures of nude male swimmers for instance) but at least he was in the battle and on the right side.

Another shocker for you - he was an Eastern Catholic (Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic, or as called in the U.S., Byzantine Catholic).

His parents were working-class Rusyn emigrants from Mikó (now called Miková), located in today’s northeastern Slovakia, part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Warhol’s father immigrated to the United States in 1914, and his mother joined him in 1921, after the death of Warhol’s grandparents. Warhol’s father worked in a coal mine. The family lived at 55 Beelen Street and later at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The family was Byzantine Catholic and attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Andy Warhol had two older brothers — Pavol (Paul), the oldest, was born in Slovakia; Ján was born in Pittsburgh. Pavol’s son, James Warhola, became a successful children’s book illustrator. About 1939, he started to collect autographed cards of film stars.

source: Wikipedia

I recall reading that from BadCatholic. =3

:thumbsup: Excellent thankyou for sharing this triumphguy :slight_smile:

Yeah I saw that in the article, it said he was Ruthenian. So he not only went to Mass, he went to Marathon Mass, right? Like, 4 hours long?


Wait, is that the Mass with the liturgical spoon? :slight_smile:

At one time it used to be considered very courageous to “come out of the closet” and proclaim your sexual preferences.

I think we are going to see more and more people “come out of the closet” and proclaim they are Catholic.

On the other hand, never say never – as a monsignor I know once said: “we’re in sales, not management” :smiley:

Seriously, he may have repented or sought confession just before he died, so who knows? Maybe he is painting Cambell’s Soup Cans in Heaven.

I heard Nancy Pelosi might be, but you’d never know it, she hides it so well.


:smiley: Maybe her conscience will prick her.

Only on Pascha. We Ruthenians in the U.S. “strive” to keep the DL to a one hour window.

However, when Andy Warhol was still with us, an hour and a half was closer to the norm.

Nah. I was at a Byzantine Divine Liturgy yesterday and it was 65 minutes, including an excellent homily.

My husband visits Pittsburgh regularly for meetings of the board of the Byzantine Catholic seminary and recently paid a visit to Warhol’s grave at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic cemetery in Bethel Park, PA.

I believe there is also a Warhol memorial on the grounds of Mt. St. Macrina in Uniontown, PA, the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Basil.

One think we do know - he openly acknowledged not only his roots, but their impact on his art and world view. He was spiritual in many ways, though perhaps not overtly religious.

As for his Carpatho-Rusyn heritage, in response to an interview question about his family background, he once famously responded that his family was “from nowhere”. This response coined the phrase “the people from nowhere” used to describe the Rusyns, who never had their own homeland.

He never denied who he was; in fact, he admited many times that it defined him. That included both his ethnic and religious heritage.

Cool! Maybe hubby and I will go sometime. We aren’t allowed to receive in a Byzantine church, though, right?

As long as that Church is Catholic, of course.

There are Orthodox Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite, as well.

However, the Byzantine Catholic Church in the U.S. is just that - Catholic, and you are most welcome to receive the Holy Eucharist if properly disposed.

Of course you are! It is Byzantine CATHOLIC, one of the other 22 “sui iuris” churches (in addition to the Latin or Roman Catholic Church) that make up the Catholic Church. Here is a link that might be helpful:

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