Pope: Art of the Vatican a "parable" for the world

2012-10-26 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday evening viewed a Polish film on the Vatican Museums called “Art and Faith: The Way of Beauty at the Vatican” in the Paul VI Audience Hall. After the film, the Holy Father said that although the film is not the first initiative speaking of the connection of art and faith in the Papal Galleries, it is worthy of special note, since it appears at the beginning of the Year of Faith. He then spoke briefly about the artistic heritage of Vatican City.

“For many people, a visit to the Vatican Museums is, on their visit to Rome, the strongest contact, sometimes the only one, with the Holy See,” the Pope said. “So it is an excellent opportunity to spread the Christian message.”

The Holy Father said the artistic heritage of Vatican City is a kind of “parable” by which the Pope can speak to men and women of different religions and cultures from all over the world, “people who may never read a [papal] speech or hear a sermon.”

“It makes you think about what Jesus said to his disciples, to you the mysteries of the kingdom of God are explained, and those ‘outside’ everything comes in parables,” said Pope Benedict. “The language of art is a ‘parabolic’ language, with a special openness to the universal: the ‘Way of Beauty’ is a way capable of leading the mind and heart to the Lord, to elevate them to the heights of God.”

He said he appreciated the fact the film repeatedly referred to the commitment of the Popes to the conservation of its artistic heritage, and the modern dialogue between the Church and artists.

“I am pleased, in particular, to pay homage to the great sensitivity to the dialogue between art and faith of my beloved Predecessor, Blessed John Paul II,” said the Pope.

“Art and faith: a combination that accompanies the Church and the Holy See for two thousand years,” concluded Pope Benedict. “A combination that we need even more today in our commitment to announcing to the men and women of our time the Gospel of a God who is infinite Beauty and Love.”