Letter to Artists by St. John Paul II
Pope Saint John Paul II perhaps understood the sensibility of artists better than most pontiffs. He was, after all, a poet, playwright, and actor himself. His Letter to Artists, written in 1999, deserves special attention among those struggling to find a way to reconcile being an artist with being Christian.
Pope John Paul calls for a renewed dialogue between the artist and the Church, as did Paul VI before him. The Church needs the arts because they have a unique ability to communicate the message entrusted to the church by Christ. Art can make the invisible world, visible, and draw us into the realm of the divine.
Does art need the Church? This is the next question posed by The Letter. In brief, art, and artists, need the Church because it is in the Church that they find their true purpose and vocation.
The Letter concludes with an invitation to artists "to rediscover the depth of the spiritual and religious dimension which has been typical of art in its noblest forms in every age." because it is to the arts that humanity looks for guidance and direction.
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