“Benedict XVI’s Letter to Artists”, Victor Benz’s “Sacred Art” column in honor of the Pope

Tens of thousands of people have been paying their last respects to the Pope in Rome since yesterday Benedict XVI. Let us not forget that he was a priest of the Church in search of peace and reconciliation, a theologian who would continue to feed the thought of the Church, and at the same time a great lover of art and artist, he loved to play the piano. … I invite you to give him my vote and read great excerpts from his November 21, 2009 speech to artists.

“With this meeting, I want to express and renew the friendship of the Church with the world of art, a friendship strengthened over time, because Christianity, from its origins, understood the value of art and intelligently used multiple languages ​​for communication. its unchanging message of salvation. This friendship must be constantly promoted and supported so that it is genuine and productive, adapts to the times, takes into account social and cultural situations and changes. […]
It is you who are the actors of this meeting, dear and outstanding artists who belong to different countries, cultures and religions, who may be far from religious practices, but who want to maintain a living communication with the Catholic Church, who do not limit their horizons. to a purely material aspect of existence, a reductive and insignificant view. […]
Unfortunately, the current moment is marked not only by negative events at the social and economic level, but also by a weakening of hope, a certain lack of trust in human relations, therefore, signs of resignation, aggressiveness, hopelessness increase. The world we live in then, instead of cultivating its beauty, is in danger of changing its face due to the work of an unwise man who dishonestly uses the planet’s resources for the benefit of a few. often disrupting natural wonders. What can restore enthusiasm and faith, what can prompt the human spirit to find its way again, to raise its gaze to the horizon, to desire a life worthy of its profession, if not beauty? Dear artists, you know very well that the experience of beauty, true beauty, is neither ephemeral nor superficial, nothing incidental or secondary to the search for meaning and happiness, because this experience does not take away reality, but on the contrary, leads to an intense confrontation with everyday life. , frees it from darkness and changes it, makes it bright and beautiful.
The important function of true beauty, in fact, is already clear in Plato, is to give a person a good “shock” that shakes him out of himself, breaks him from resignation and compromise with everyday life. a sting that hurts, but in this way “awakens” him, opens the eyes of his heart and mind again, gives him wings, pushes him up. […]
original beauty opens the human heart to nostalgia, to a deep desire to know, to love, to go to the Other, to what is beyond oneself. If we allow beauty to touch us deeply, hurt us, open our eyes, then we will rediscover the joy of seeing, the ability to understand the deep meaning and mystery of our existence. , happiness, passion for daily commitment. […]
The great biblical stories, themes, images, and parables have inspired countless masterpieces in every field of art, as they resonate to the hearts of every generation of believers with their equally eloquent and captivating local arts and crafts. […]
Dear artists, approaching the conclusion, I would like to make a sincere, kind and passionate appeal, as my predecessor has already done. You are the guardians of beauty; thanks to your talent, you have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to awaken dreams and hopes, and to expand the horizons of knowledge and human connection. Therefore, be grateful for the gifts received and fully understand the great responsibility of conveying beauty, communicating with beauty and with beauty!
Be a herald and witness of hope for humanity with your art! Do not be afraid to confront yourself with the original and ultimate source of beauty, dialogue with believers, those who, like you, feel that they are on a pilgrimage to infinite Beauty in the world and in history! Faith takes nothing away from your genius and art, on the contrary, it raises and nourishes them, prompts them to cross the threshold, to contemplate with enchanted and moved eyes the final and final goal, the proud sun that illuminates and adorns the present. . […]
Dear friends, I encourage you to better discover and express the beauty of your works, the mystery of God and man. God bless you! »

Pope Benedict XVIthrough this meeting, he followed in the footsteps of John Paul II, who wrote a letter to the artists on April 4, 1999, and Saint Paul VI, who organized his first meeting with the artists on May 7, 1964. Sistine Chapel.

On Thursday, January 5, the RCF presents a special program for the funeral of Benoit XVI.

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