Lombardi editorial: Music and peace

2012-07-14 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) What an extraordinary concert to take place at Castel Gandolfo, on the feast of Saint Benedict and in the presence of the Pope! Italian president Napolitano had the brilliant idea of introducing the Pope to the already famous Orchestra – comprised of young Israelis, Palestinians, and citizens of other Arab countries – which was founded by the great Jewish conductor Daniel Barenboim and by Palestinian scholar Edward Said.

And the two Beethoven symphonies which were performed, the fifth and the sixth –the Pope said in an address given at the concert – convey two fundamental aspects of life: tragedy and peace.

Artistic endeavours, and the otherworldly attainment of that which is aesthetically pleasing, can truly convey a powerful message about humanity’s inherent value. As is seen through this musical performance, art can bring together the talents of people of different cultures and religions so that they may become ambassadors of peace. Jews, Muslims, Christians who tune their instruments not only create harmony of sound, but also also tune their souls so as to create harmony of knowing how to live and build together!
The Pope is preparing for a journey to Lebanon in September, where he will bring the fruits of the Bishops’ assembly, which was celebrated in that region two years ago, to the faithful and the people of the Middle East. Since that assembly, Arab countries have entered into a period of profound unrest: Syria is torn apart by violence, while the Holy Land continues to await a resolution to the endless conflicts and political tension. However, as the Pope said in his address, we need to continue to work toward peace: “we must strive to achieve peace, leaving aside violence and weapons, engaging ourselves in personal and communal conversions, through dialogue, in a patient search for possible understandings.” This concert is a sign of hope, a small sign perhaps, but nonetheless a sign of spiritually intense force. I wish the Pope the very best for his upcoming journey.