Randy Engel
"Pittsburgh Catholic Magazine runs favorable story on Andy Warhol AKA 'Angel of Death'"
By Randy Engel
July 19, 2012


In a recent Family Life special publication of Pittsburgh Catholic Magazine, distributed by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop David A Zubik publisher, Catholic readers were (mis)treated to a disingenuous profile of the late homosexual artist and illustrator, Andy Warhol.

John Fries, the author of the puff piece titled "Meeting Andy Warhol," is identified only as a Catholic and a "local communications practitioner." The story is a flashback of Fries' 1985 Thanksgiving trip to Manhattan to visit the famous artist in the company of Warhol's nephew, Mark Warhola.

Fries hails Andy Warhol as a "Pop Art pioneer," and a major contributor to popular culture.

According to Fries, Mark's Uncle Andy gave them a gracious reception upon their arrival at the Factory, the artist's legendary and infamous studio. Fries described the artist as "soft-spoken," and "articulate and friendly."

According to Fries, he and Warhol engaged in a rather long informal conversation while Mark tended to business matters. Later, the duo said their farewells to Warhol, only to revisit Andy on Sunday morning at his townhouse after Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral just prior to their return flight to Pittsburgh. The city of Pittsburgh is Warhol's place of birth and home to the Andy Warhol Museum, one of the largest single artist museums in the world. Fries notes that Warhol gave him some signed catalogues of his art as a departing gift.
    The story closes with the following remark by Fries:

    This had been a weekend like no other. I had the opportunity to interact with one of the most important artists of the 20th century. I got to see where he worked and where he lived. And I'd learned that behind the enigmatic public persona and prolific output was a nice guy from my hometown. ...
Andy Warhol as the "Angel of Death"

The following biographical data presents a distinctly different take on the character of Andy Warhol (and homosexual photographer Robert Mapplethorpe). It is found in my book, The Rite of Sodomy — Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church in a chapter dealing with in-house murder, homicides and mayhem in the upper-class echelons of the Homosexual Collective:
    Both Jack Fritscher, biographer of Robert Mapplethorpe, and Victor Bockris who chronicled the life of Andy Warhol and the Warhol Factory have reported on the inordinate and frightening numbers of killings and self-inflicted deaths within both the Mapplethorpe and Warhol orbits. [1]

    Bockris wrote that Andy's friend Freddie Herko from the Factory jumped naked out of a fifth story window to his death under the influence of LSD, to which Warhol was alleged to have responded that it was too bad that he did not get that on film. [2] Herko's death was "one of a number of sensational deaths associated with Warhol," said Bockris. Andy "released the evil or dark side. He gave permission for violence" he noted. "He loved to see other people dying. ... Andy was the angel of death taking young people through their shabby lives with drugs and weird sex. Andy just looked," Bockris said. [3]
I humbly suggest that Bockris's interpretation of Andy Warhol's homosexual deathstyle is closer to the truth than the sugar-coated version served up to its readers by Mr. Fries and Pittsburgh Catholic Magazine.

Why Would PCM Promote Such a Despicable Creature as Andy Warhol?

The Pittsburgh Catholic Family Life Magazine is a complimentary publication distributed to all 204 Pittsburgh parishes from the Pittsburgh Catholic Publishing Associates, Inc. which also publishes the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper.

Pardon my French, but what the hell was the Catholic publication doing promoting the life and the works of the likes of an Andy Warhol? What kind of an impression will this puff piece of a celebrity homosexual and producer of male erotica make upon the reader, young or old? Are Catholic school children going to be visiting the Andy Warhol Museum any time soon as part of their field trip itinerary?

What say you, Bishop Zubik? Frankly, I think you owe your flock an apology.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Diocese of Pittsburgh has done this sort of thing.

For example, in the March 4, 2011, issue of the Pittsburgh Catholic, the diocesan recommended Lenten Readings included the works of pro-homosexual activist and New Age and Ennegram seer, Father Richard Rohr.

Rohr is a notorious dissenter from Church teachings on sexual morality especially Church teachings on the intrinsic evil of sodomy and other homosexual acts. Rohr adheres to the heretical notion of universal salvation, i.e., the Incarnation brought Redemption to mankind making Christ's death on the cross unnecessary, as well as various pagan rituals especially those associated with male sexuality.

When I brought the Rohr matter to the attention of the editor of the Pittsburgh Catholic, my Letter to the Editor was not published. A letter to Bishop Zubik also went unacknowledged.

This time, I'll save myself the trouble of sending this critique on the Warhol promotion to the officials of the Pittsburgh Diocese, and just post it on my Renew America column, with a suitable warning to Pittsburgh Catholic pastors, teachers and parents that the Pittsburgh Catholic and Pittsburgh Catholic Magazine may contain materials harmful to Catholic faith and morals.

Let the reader beware.


[1]  See Fritscher, Mapplethorpe and Victor Bockris, The Life and Death of Andy Warhol, (New York: Batam Books, 1989). Bockris quoted Gary Indiana's description of the Warhol Factory. "It was the Church of the unimaginable Penis. Andy was the father confessor, the kids were the sinners. The sanctity of the institution and its rituals was what was important, not personal salvation," said Indiana.

[2]  Bockris, 156-157.

[3]  Ibid., 157.

© Randy Engel


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Randy Engel

Randy Engel, one of the nation's top investigative reporters, began her journalistic career shortly after her graduation from the University of New York at Cortland, in 1961. A specialist in Vietnamese history and folklore, in 1963, she became the editor of The Vietnam Journal, the official publication of the Vietnam Refugee and Information Services, a national relief program in South Vietnam for war refugees and orphans based in Dayton, Ohio... (more)


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