Pope meets artists in the Sistine Chapel

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI met this morning in the Sistine Chapel with more than 250 artists from around the world.

Sitting in front of Michelangelo’s fresco of the Last Judgment, he reflected on the beauty of God and on the connection between beauty and hope.

(CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Pope Benedict told the artists:

You are the custodians of beauty: thanks to your talent, you have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement. Be grateful, then, for the gifts you have received and be fully conscious of your great responsibility to communicate beauty, to communicate in and through beauty!

Through your art, you yourselves are to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity! And do not be afraid to approach the first and last source of beauty, to enter into dialogue with believers, with those who, like yourselves, consider that they are pilgrims in this world and in history towards infinite Beauty! Faith takes nothing away from your genius or your art: on the contrary, it exalts them and nourishes them, it encourages them to cross the threshold and to contemplate with fascination and emotion the ultimate and definitive goal, the sun that does not set, the sun that illumines this present moment and makes it beautiful.

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