Appeal to the Holy Father
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,933
    Shawn Tribe writes today on New Liturgical Movement about an appeal to the Holy Father on the subject of sacred art, sacred music, and sacred architecture. One of the authors is the German writer Martin Mosebach (The Heresy of Formlessness), and the promoters include Duncan Stroik, Stephen Schloeder, and Sandro Magister.

    Here is the portion devoted to music:


    Holy Father, the Church has today the opportunity to regain his "highly" role in the magisterium of music, mainly in the field of sacred music and liturgical chant, which must necessarily respond to the categories of "good" and "right" for their intimate connection, not just correspondence, with the liturgy itself (Paul VI, Address to the singers of the papal chapel, March 12th, 1964).

    In the ancient history of Christianity the dialectical relationship between sacred music and secular music has produced many times the intervention of the Church to "clean up the building of the Roman liturgy" (a term explicitly used by many popes) from the secularist intrusions that the music itself lead in the temple and that, over the centuries and the gradual technical and musical development, have become increasingly severe and spill-over from the proper liturgical use, ending often in the assumption of roles of self-referencing or profane nature.

    From the time of the Const. Ap. “Docta Sanctorum” issued by Pope John XXII (1324), the magisterium has always indicated the righteous ways of understanding music in the service of worship, gradually adopting new techniques compatible with the liturgy, but always and consistently pointing up to the present day (including the magisterium of Vatican II and the entire post Vatican II period) in the Gregorian chant, the primal root, the source of constant inspiration, the highest – because it’s simply the most noble – form of music that can perfectly embody the Catholic liturgical ideal also by virtue of its anonymity and its meta-historical true aesthetical, verbal and sensitive universality.

    We cannot now definitely establish musical forms and styles a priori, but the
    recovery of Gregorian chant, good polyphonic and organ music (even inspired by the Gregorian), – ancient, modern and contemporary – would certainly, after decades of absolute shock and “probability” in music, recall the liturgical "words" that the Catholic tradition in art and music has given us for centuries: they have worked – using a representative expression of Pope Paul VI in the Enc. "Mysterium Fidei" – as real "tiles of the Catholic Faith", which was always founded on sensible data, endowed with truth and beauty; and always devoid of sterile and mannered or archaeological intellectualism, to be avoided with care (as indicated by Pope Pius XII in Enc. “Mediator Dei” that introduced the liturgical reform of the late twentieth century.

    Maybe in the arts devoted to the service of worship, music is the strongest, for that constant "catechetical" meaning which the magisterium has constantly recognized, and also the more delicate because, by its nature and unlike the other arts, requires a tertium medium between the author and the viewer, or the interpreter. For this reason the Catholic Church should take better care of the music than of other arts and should, as happened in the past, urge the education of both authors and interpreters: for sure today the effort is much more difficult than in Middle Age, Baroque period or in the XIX century, since the actual society is completely secularized. However today is needed a clear knowledge of the fundamentals so that the musicians – once endowed with the needed expertise – can recover the "sensus ecclesiæ" together with the "sensus fidei".
  • I think this is very good!
  • I agree, and I signed the Appeal!
  • Thanks for posting this. Probably a good idea cultural leaders to appeal to the Pope for the Church to patronize the arts.

    I had trouble understanding a couple of things.
    What is meant by "probability in music"? (Chance or randomness?) This phrase seems strange to me, especially in connection with the previous one "absolute shock". Also, I have never heard the phrase "tiles of the Catholic faith" attributed to Paul VI. I suppose I could go look up the encyclical.
  • Here's a direct link to sign the appeal:

    In order to sign the appeal, please send an email to the address with your full name, profession and place of residence. The names of the signatories will be published on this website.

    Original source | List of signatories

    (Update: Just signed it myself.)
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    So anybody can sign it? Can I send it to my schola?
  • Yes, at the bottom of the form is the address to send the signature information to...
  • Looks like anyone can sign it.

    Though if you're in a leadership or creative position and are actively involved the restoration of Catholic sacred music in its proper contexts, you might consider using your most prominent Catholic- or music-related title when you specify your profession — even if it is a volunteer or part-time position.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thanks, I'm in. Sending it to my schola, so whoever wants to do it, can also help.
  • Pianist Pope to Meet With Artists

    Singers, Architects, Painters to Gather in Sistine Chapel

    VATICAN CITY, NOV. 6, 2009 ( Ten years after Pope John Paul II's letter to artists, the Bishop of Rome is again planning to address representatives of the world of culture.

    Benedict XVI will meet with some 170 artists -- from the realms of literature, music, architecture and visual arts -- in the Sistine Chapel on Nov. 21.

    The event is promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture. It marks another anniversary as well: 45 years since Pope Paul VI met with artists.

    It is a meeting "to rediscover a discourse and dialogue that is global and essential," Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of that dicastery, said today at a press conference announcing the event.

    The archbishop noted that 500 artists were invited but only 170 have confirmed their attendance, though he said this was due to conflicting schedules not ideological differences.

    He said those invited "do not belong only to the Catholic world," although the Church "is represented in a substantial way."

    The day before the meeting, the artists will visit the modern art collection in the Vatican Museums, which was established at the request of Paul VI.

    Among the artists who will attend the meeting are Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, Mexican painter Gustavo Aceves and the master of Russian figurative art Aleksandr Zvyagin. Also attending will be British architect David Chipperfield, and Swiss architect Mario Botta. Representatives of literature include novelist Susana Tamaro and Italian literary critic and journalist Lorenzo Mondo.

    There will be brief musical interventions to open and close the meeting. Some paragraphs of John Paul II's letter will also be read.

    Benedict XVI will address the artists and later, participants will attend a meeting in the New Wing of the Vatican Museums and be given a medal on behalf of the Holy Father that was made especially for the event.
  • I will gladly take the place of one of those 330 artists who haven't confirmed for the meeting with the Pope. I could be like one of those beggars in the Gospel who get to go to the king's banquet when the invited guests are "too busy." And I bet I could find someone else here to go with me. Any takers??? ;-)
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I agree.

    Those who are humble will hear HIm, and learn to appreciate and use their 'great' talent.
  • Dear Friends,

    I'm a member of the Commitee of the Appeal to His Holiness. I would like first of all to thank you for having quoted the Appeal in your forum. And naturally for your signatories!

    Everyone can sign the Appeal that will be now released in french, german and protuguese. The most beautiful experience of this initiative is to see so many faithfuls that agree on the issue of the Appeal. Faithfuls that are not only intellectuals, architects, musicians etc., but also simply fathers or mothers of families with no cultural or social distinction.

    I will appreciate if you could spread off this Appeal in order to have many signatories.

    The event of 21st Nov is just a mundane "happening" in the Vatican, organized by really superficial people that try to use the Pope for their purposes.
    With our act of love for authentic sacred art, and devotion for His Holiness we would like to represent the voice of many simple faithfuls from all over the world that hope in the promotion and diffusion of a real sacred art, and above all, sacred music!

    Many thanks and best regards in Domino Jesu

    Francesco Colafemmina
  • I signed
  • Me too