Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia

April 4, 2011

Faithful Catholics have all but disappeared from the arts in the U.S. — leaving the arts "spiritually impoverished" and undercutting the ways the Church "speaks to the world," according to Dana Gioia, Catholic poet and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Catholic artists today are virtually invisible," Gioia observed in a lecture at The Catholic University of America.

Gioia said the lack of Catholics in the arts is a "paradox," given the Catholic Church's long tradition as "patron and mentor" to the arts.

Anti-Catholicism, he noted, remains "the one respectable form of intellectual bigotry."