In praise of beauty

GodCreates-Man-Sistine-ChapelCaught up in the holiday weekend's spirit of thankfulness, I want to reach back to last weekend and Pope Benedict's meeting with artists from around the world in the Sistine Chapel, which was covered by The New York Times' Rachel Donadio:

Sitting before Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" in the Sistine Chapel, after a choir sang music by Palestrina, Benedict urged them to embark on "a quest for beauty." In what he called "a cordial, friendly and impassioned appeal," he told his guests to be "fully conscious of your great responsibility to communicate beauty, to communicate in and through beauty."

He said the aim of the event on Saturday was "to re-establish a dialogue" between the church and artists "that's necessary and fertile for both."

Donadio's brief article told us who was there (composer Arvo Part) and who wasn't (U2's Bono), and it quoted artists who held two opposing perspectives on the gathering: those who seemed pleased (or even blessed) and those who remained suspicious of the pope's motives (and considered the event a "facade."

(You can see more about the event in a report by Catholic News Service.)

There are tons of articles and reports about religion that could be addressed here today, but I'm casting my lot with the one that addresses beauty. Happy Thanksgiving!

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