At the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald, there is a great article about the Pop Art icon Andy Warhol and Warhol’s faith and piety.
This may surprise some people: he was devout and practiced his faith… which is rather redundant.
Read the whole thing over there.
However, I thought this bit to be important, especially in light of the efforts of some who endlessly blare homosexual issues but without stressing the necessity of continence, chastity:
Religion kept Warhol from going over the brink. He attended Mass almost daily. Other days he would just slip into St Vincent Ferrer on Lexington Avenue, drop into the back pew and pray. He spent his Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters volunteering at a soup kitchen, and befriended the homeless and poor whom he served. He put his nephew through seminary. Though openly gay, he endeavoured to remain celibate [read: chaste] throughout his life. When he refused to support the gay rights movement, many of his friends blamed his faith.
He lived with his mother until she died, and every morning they would pray together in Old Slavonic before he left for the Factory. He always carried a rosary and a small missal in his pocket.
What a contrast.
I sincerely believe that people with same-sex attraction, if they strive to be chaste and bear their subsequent suffering, will have a very high place in heaven. The greater the burden and suffering, the greater the graces and reward.
Support of homosexual persons is obligatory for true Catholics. However, also obligatory is the whole truth, which necessarily includes the explicit and clear renunciation of same-sex acts, which violate human dignity and do great harm to individuals and society.
Liberace apparently led a somewhat similar life (although a little less chaste) – a devout Catholic to the end who received last rites from a priest.
I fail to see the homosexualists’ point concerning chastity. If our clergy and our religious can remain chaste, why cannot our singles of one orientation or another? The homosexualists would have you think that we are nothing but our sexual urges, and they must not be tamed, no matter what. I would like to think that, along with all other “urges,” the sexual urge is simply one among many that must be in control in order to avoid sin.
I understand the desire to marry and have a family of one’s own–clearly that is the norm for heterosexuals, but since homosexualists seem to think they require special rules and special recognition, perhaps the norm is not for them?
I struggle with gluttony. Should I ask the Church to declare that gluttony is no longer one of the seven deadly sins, so that I can indulge my urge without condemnation? You might as well ask the AMA to quit measuring cholesterol levels and blood sugar. It is as likely.
The support I ask to rise above my sin is the confessional, and no other. Why is this not enough for the homosexualists?
Thank you, Father, for this post! I had NO IDEA!
And for reiterating the proper Catholic approach and charity towards those suffering in a life of same sex attraction.
Many are surprised to learn that, even though he attended Mass in a Roman church, he was actually Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian). I found this in Wikipedia:
# # #
During his life, Warhol regularly attended Mass, and the priest at Warhol’s church, Saint Vincent Ferrer, said that the artist went there almost daily, although he was not observed taking Communion or going to Confession and sat or knelt in the pews at the back. The priest thought he was afraid of being recognized; Warhol said he was self-conscious about being seen in a Roman Rite church crossing himself “in the Orthodox way” (right to left instead of the reverse).
# # #
His funeral was held at Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church in Pittsburgh. He is buried with a simple headstone, and with his parents at the Byzantine Catholic cemetery on the south side.
tamranthor – I often wonder about something. Many people do not, in fact, give up the sin of gluttony until the last few days of their lives, when their bodies simply do not allow them to lust after food.
You say you struggle with the sin of gluttony – I am not sure I believe you, I think you probably are not much of a glutton, that you are just being kind, and kindly pointing out that you too have your faults – but let’s say you are, in fact, a continuous glutton. Year in, year out, despite all the times you received Communion and all the times that you heard the word of the Lord, you continue, day after day, to spoil yourself by enjoying Gluttony.
Now, assuming that you did defeat the sin of gluttony, and offered up to God all the sufferings it took you to defeat that sin: to whom would you pray that God, at your request, would grant, in recompense, the simple gift of taking away a sinful temptation?
And if your answer is not “a homosexualist”, what is your answer: other gluttons? That would be a good answer, of course.
But if you chose some other recipient for the gifts you wanted God to give in recognition of your hard work at defeating your own sin: how and why is your gluttony different than their sins? Why should I hate the sin of homosexualists more than I hate the sin of gluttony?
Even Dante did not answer that question well, to be fair. And he was a good poet – sort of the “special forces” version of a medieval poet, with all the good and bad involved in being that sort of a poet.
Sorry if I am in a bad mood. I learned today that someone I used to know stole the food stamp money that was meant for her children (who she, in her wickedness, fed on Ramen noodles and cheap canned soup, day after day, until even the clueless local social workers noticed the drop in weight of the children) and spent that money on drugs, in a gluttonous way.
Sins of gluttony are as harsh on the victims as other sins sometimes, right? Not always, of course (who does not like a jolly fat old person), but sometimes, right?