Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beauty is a 'fascinating way to approach the Mystery of God,' says Pope Benedict

Vatican City, Nov 18, 2009 / 11:11 am (CNA).- In his catechesis to the 8,000 present during Wednesday's general audience, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of "the glory of the Christian Middle Ages," the Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals. He described how the early Christians' medieval structures reveal their faith and glorify the Lord.

The Holy Father noted that the Christian faith, “rooted in the men and women of the Middle Ages” inspired “some of the most exalted artistic creations of all civilization.” He explained that in medieval times, the historical conditions were more favorable to artistic creation due to the increase in population, trade and wealth.

These developments enabled the construction of churches where the liturgy could be celebrated with dignity, he added.

One of the novelties of Romanesque churches, Pope Benedict continued, was the introduction of sculptures which, more than seeking technical perfection, "had an educational aim... Their recurring theme was the representation of Christ as Judge, surrounded by the figures of the Apocalypse. In general it is the portals of Romanesque churches that present this image, underlining the fact that Christ is the Door that leads to heaven."

See also:

From Asia News, "Pope: rediscover a path to God in beauty"

From Catholic Culture, "Great medieval cathedrals are 'Bibles of stone,' Pope says"


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