Sunday, January 15, 2006

Opera Artis

I ran across this article while I've been doing some further research. It's from April of 1971, but its themes ring true today. The first four paragraphs, which I've quoted below sum up what a lot of us are already thinking.

"Works of art, the most exalted expressions of the human spirit, bring us closer and closer to the divine Artisan (1) and with good reason are regarded as the heritage of the entire human family.(2)

The Church has always held the ministry of the arts in the highest esteem and has striven to see that "all things set apart for use in divine worship are truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of the supernatural world."(3) The Church through the centuries has also safeguarded the artistic treasures belonging to it.(4)

Accordingly, in our own times as well, bishops, no matter how hard pressed by their responsibilities, must take seriously the care of places of worship and sacred objects. They bear singular witness to the reverence of the people toward God and deserve such care also because of their historic and artistic value.

It grieves the faithful to see that more than ever before there is so much unlawful transferal of ownership of the historical and artistic heritage of the Church, as well as theft, confiscation, and destruction."


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