they may find serenity again
in the contemplation
of marvellous things
and through the grandeur
of the creatures - by analogy,
contemplate their author.
Pope Saint John Paul II
CLOSING OF THE SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL
ADDRESS OF POPE PAUL VI
8 December 1965
We now address you, artists, who are taken up with beauty and work for it:
poets and literary men, painters, sculptors, architects, musicians,
men devoted to the theater and the cinema.
To all of you, the Church of the council declares to you through our voice:
if you are friends of genuine art, you are our friends.
The Church has long since joined in alliance with you.
You have built and adorned her temples, celebrated her dogmas,
enriched her liturgy. You have aided her in translating her divine message
in the language of forms and figures, making the invisible world palpable.
Today, as yesterday, the Church needs you and turns to you.
She tells you through our voice: Do not allow an alliance as fruitful as this to be broken.
Do not refuse to put your talents at the service of divine truth.
Do not close your mind to the breath of the Holy Spirit.
This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair.
It is beauty, like truth, which brings joy to the heart of man and is that precious fruit
which resists the wear and tear of time,
which unites generations and makes them share things in admiration.
And all of this is through your hands. May these hands be pure and disinterested.
Remember that you are the guardians of beauty in the world.
May that suffice to free you from tastes which are passing and have no genuine value,
to free you from the search after strange or unbecoming expressions.
Be always and everywhere worthy of your ideals and you will be worthy of the Church
which, by our voice, addresses to you today her message of
friendship, salvation, grace and benediction.
Make the truth shine in your works -
never separate artistic creation
from truth and charity.
Pope Benedict XVI