Sunday, June 17, 2007

The synthesis of faith and culture

The Pope said that "the history of the Church is inseparably linked to the history of culture and art."

The Holy Father made reference to various works, "such as the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas, the 'Divine Comedy,' the Cathedral of Chartres, the Sistine Chapel and the cantatas of Johannes Sebastian Bach."

"These constitute incomparable syntheses of the Christian life and of human expression," said the Pontiff.

Benedict XVI clarified: "If, indeed, these are, so to speak, pinnacles of the synthesis between faith and culture, their encounter is realized daily in the life and the work of the baptized, in that hidden work of art which is the love story of each individual with the living God and with one's neighbor, in the joy and toil of following Christ in everyday life.

"In the cultural arena, Christianity has to offer everyone its powerful capacity for renewing and lifting up, that is, the love of God that becomes human love."