Pope John Paul II’s Letter To Artists

On Easter Sunday 1999, Pope John Paul II released a Letter To Artists. The Holy Father was an artist himself, a poet, a playwright, and an actor. So he has some credibility even to those outside Christianity based solely on his life experience. And as a saintly man deeply connected to Christ, he brings a spiritual and creative perspective to this outreach. I find this document very insightful, both to the man as well as to some modern reflections on art.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll post excerpts of this letter more or less daily. And as always, I hope for your comments. This document is nearly fifteen years old, but it should prove interesting to review it in light of two subsequent papacies as well as recent developments in the arts.

I hesitated how to fit this into a category. It’s not really a liturgy document, but I put it there for easier reference.

The numbered sections are actually quite long, and each consists of several paragraphs. As such, I will probably first list the theme of the section, rather than the number reference. I’m sure it will seem clear, for the most part.

I’ll leave off with Pope John Paul’s dedication and Scripture quote:

To all who are passionately dedicated
to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty
so that through their creative work as artists
they may offer these as gifts to the world

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn 1:31)

And the comments are in your hands. 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Art, Letter To Artists, Miscellaneous, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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