Meeting with the Association, Pope Francis expresses appreciation for the commitment in museums that "visibly document the path taken by the Church over the centuries in worship, catechesis, culture and charity". Threats to the artistic and natural heritage. Dialogue with contemporary artists, a "frontier ". "Passion for the Church and its mission".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Holiness is the Churches truest beauty", but "urban spaces and people's lives need museums that allow them to enjoy this beauty as an expression of people's existence, their harmony with the environment, encounter and mutual help". This is why the work of managers, operators and workers, volunteers "at the museums of dioceses or religious institutes in Italy" is important.
Pope Francis today addressed the Italian Ecclesiastical Museums Association in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace, thus summarizing their role. The Pope delivered his speech, adding only a few sentences to his arm and preferred to greet those present.
"The ecclesiastical museums - says the pontiff - share the same mission: to visibly document "the path taken by the Church over the centuries in worship, catechesis, culture and charity ".
Citing "Laudato si '" he recalls that "the historical, artistic and cultural heritage, together with the natural heritage, is equally threatened. It is part of the common identity of a place and a base for building a habitable city. We need to integrate the history, culture and architecture of a particular place, safeguarding its original identity, making the technical language dialogue with popular language. It is culture understood not only as the monuments of the past, but especially in its living, dynamic and participatory sense (see n. 143) ".
"The museum - he adds - contributes to the good quality of people's lives, creating open spaces of relationship between people, places of closeness and opportunities to create communities. In large centers it is proposed as a cultural outlet and representation of the history of that place. In small cities it supports the awareness of an identity that "makes one feel at home". Always and for everyone it helps to raise the eye to beauty ”.
The professionalism shown by the operators in this field is "passion for the people of your land ... And also passion for the Church and its mission ".
In this regard, the Pope underlines the importance of maintaining “dialogue with contemporary artists, promoting meetings, creating exhibitions, training people in today's languages. It is a work of wisdom and openness, that is not always appreciated; it is "frontier" work, indispensable for continuing the dialogue that the Church has always had with artists. Contemporary art incorporates the languages to which young people are especially accustomed ”.
Exhorting those present to take inspiration from the Evangelii gaudium and the exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, he concludes: "Holiness is the truest beauty of the Church. A beauty that gives meaning and full value to your service to the Church and in the Church, which appreciates and thanks you ".