Pope tells Christmas Concert players that creativity generates light

Pope Francis received in audience pop, rock, soul, gospel, and opera singers as well the promoters and organisers of the annual concert. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Pontifical Scholas Occurrentes Foundation and the Salesian Missioni Don Bosco Foundation. As Paul VI put it, the world “needs beauty in order not to sink into despair”.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met this Saturday morning with the players taking part in this year’s Christmas concert, as well as the event’s promoters and organisers. In his address, the pontiff told them that, “Amid the anxiety provoked by the pandemic, your creativity can be a source of light.”

The artists include pop, rock, soul, gospel, and opera singers and musicians who will perform in the Christmas Concert in the Vatican, which is in its 28th edition. Taped today, the musical show will be broadcast internationally on Christmas Eve.

Each year, proceeds from the concert go to support development projects. This year’s recipients are the Pontifical Scholas Occurrentes Foundation and the Salesian Missioni Don Bosco Foundation.

Speaking to artists, the pontiff said that we live at a “critical moment in our history”. This year the Christmas lights are “somewhat dimmed” due to the “memory of the many people who have suffered and are suffering from the pandemic”. All this enhances the value of artistic creation.

The “perception and contemplation of beauty generate a sense of hope that can light up our world.” This generates “empathy, the ability to understand others, with whom we have so much in common. We sense a bond with them, a bond no longer vague, but real and shared.”

In wishing the artists “a good concert”, Francis cited Saint Paul VI who, in his Message to Artists at the end of the Second Vatican Council, described them as being “in love with beauty”, and noted that our world “needs beauty in order not to sink into despair”.

Finally, “Amid the anxiety provoked by the pandemic, your creativity can be a source of light. The crisis has made even denser the ‘dark clouds over a closed world’ (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 9-55), and this might seem to obscure the light of the divine, the eternal. Let us not yield to that illusion, but seek the light of Christmas, which dispels the darkness of sorrow and pain.”

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