World Service Covers Papal Meeting with Contemporary Artists



They don't make them like they used to...

BBC World Service covered Pope Benedict XVI's meeting with contemporary artists last night and you can listen to it here. The Holy Father told the collection of largely hopeless nihilists, wasters and blaggers that account for 'modern artists'...

'You are the custodians of beauty: thanks to your talent, you have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement. Be grateful, then, for the gifts you have received and be fully conscious of your great responsibility to communicate beauty, to communicate in and through beauty!

Through your art, you yourselves are to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity! And do not be afraid to approach the first and last source of beauty, to enter into dialogue with believers, with those who, like yourselves, consider that they are pilgrims in this world and in history towards infinite Beauty! Faith takes nothing away from your genius or your art: on the contrary, it exalts them and nourishes them, it encourages them to cross the threshold and to contemplate with fascination and emotion the ultimate and definitive goal, the sun that does not set, the sun that illumines this present moment and makes it beautiful.'

Which is great. Hopefully they've got the message and we'll see an end to crucified frogs, revolting churches and Paul Inwood's near monopoly on church music. I like the bit in the World Service report where the narrator says, "The Pope made a very long speech," and then doesn''t air the Holy Father actually speaking!

For once, I fear, the Holy Father is wasting his time. The age of the holy, God-graced genius is over. The vast chasm of theological understanding, sheer raw talent, passion for the Sacred and yearning to express the Divine through art exhibited in Bernini, Zurburan and Palestrina in previous centuries and what artists produce now could not be wider. Or, I don't know, maybe it's like the gap between the rich and the poor...as time goes by, it just gets bigger. Good on the Holy Father for trying though. It's like Caritas in Veritate and Deus Caritas Est where Pope Benedict XVI says something eminently profound and sensible, but the World? The World won't listen.

Anyway, as long as Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse got to the airport in time for their flight to Rome, that's the main thing...

Comments

Patricius said…
I am somewhat puzzled as to who the invited artists were or indeed what was the point of the meeting. Pope Julius II did this sort of thing much better by actually commissioning artists to do things.