2009-09-10 16:27:08

Pope Seeks to Restore Alliance between Art and Faith

(10 Sep 09 - RV) On November 21 in the Sistine Chapel, Benedict XVI will meet painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, masters of the theatre and film from around the world. RealAudioMP3

The meeting was presented Thursday morning at the Holy See Press Office by Archbishop Ravasi President of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

In 1964 Paul VI, was the first Pope to reach out to the artistic world when he met with artists and called for a new alliance between the divine inspiration of faith and the creative inspiration of art. This wish was reiterated in a letter addressed to artists ten years ago by John Paul II.

Now, it seems its time to try again.

Art – says Archbishop Ravasi – has increasingly become dedicated to experiments with form and language and has abandoned "the idea that the artwork embodies a transcendent vision of being":

"Art has become sophisticated, at times incomprehensible. It is has become an exclusive stylistic research, and often self-referential. Sometimes it tends towards provocation but overall has placed the great religious canons on a shelf to collect dust”.

Aware of this distance between art and faith, in meeting with artists on November 21 Pope Benedict XVI hopes to establish a dialogue towards a new and "fruitful alliance" between “art and the Church”

"Ideally the Pope is taking the plunge in launching the dialogue. How will the artists respond? The should begin to respond through their works. Then we would hope to encourage a certain resonance for these works within their national communities".

The hardest part was the selection of artists who will meet the Holy Father. The choice – said Archbishop Ravasi - was made with particular attention to the artistic level achieved, taking into account the different geographical and cultural contexts.

Among those who have already confirmed their attendance to the meeting with the Holy Father are the sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, the composer Ennio Morricone and director Giuseppe Tornatore and master of the theatre Bob Wilson.

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