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.
Bad Catholic has more.
There are no perfect Catholics, this I write with certainty.
There is however a merciful God who welcomes every person into His arms.