Did you know that the second-most famous Christian in history was gay? Probably not. And you're not alone. Almost nobody knows this, and it's no accident.
So first of all, who is this #2 Christian? I'd give the #1 spot to St. Paul, author of so many of the Biblical letters. But the #2 spot has to go to Leonardo da Vinci. There's hardly a Catholic alive, or any western Christian for that matter, who hasn't seen The Last Supper. And his painting of the Mona Lisa is called the "most famous painting in the world."
Everyone knows the name da Vinci. But very few people know that he was gay!
If you were writing a biography of someone famous man – say your history teacher wanted to know about Albert Einstein – wouldn't you include a bit about his life and family, his personal life? You'd write about his two marriages, and you'd surely want to mention Einstein's ten mistresses.
Any good historian would do this. Right?
Wrong. If the historian is working for the Roman Catholic Church and the subject happens to be both an icon of Catholicism and gay, it's censorship time. The Catholic Encyclopedia, which is the official Vatican position on all things, has a huge eight-thousand-word entry on Leonardo da Vinci. They include fantastic details about his youth, his teachers, and all of his known works of art. Yet nowhere in it can I find any mention of his homosexuality. There isn't one word about his male lovers or the fact that da Vinci was accused (but acquitted) of sodomy in the Italian courts.
This is a stunning bit of censorship by the Roman Catholic Church. It's understandable that da Vinci's homosexuality is largely unknown by the general public. After all, the man's art is a towering achievement. Who cares whom he loved and how? But for a supposedly reputable organization like the Roman Catholic Church to blatantly censor the details of his personal life is scandalous. They should be ashamed of themselves.
If the Church's position on homosexuality is to "hate the sin, love the sinner," then they should embrace the truth about one of their finest. Leonardo da Vinci was an amazing man, but (in their eyes) a sinner. Why is that something they need to hide? How does that reduce the greatness of the man, or of the Church?
It's a sad testiment to the Church's insecurity and fear that they need to censor the true history of such a great man.