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Congratulations from the artists

· Exhibition honouring the 60th anniversary of Joseph Ratzinger’s priestly ordination ·

On Friday, 17 June, “Lo splendore della Verità, la bellezza della Carità” [The Splendour of the Truth, the Beauty of Love], an exhibition organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture as a tribute to the 60th anniversary of Joseph Ratzinger’s priestly ordination, was presented at the Holy See Press Office. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the above-mentioned dicastery, initiated this project after the Pope’s meeting in the Sistine Chapel on 21 November 2008 with 60 artists of international renown. The following is a translation of an excerpt from an article on the exhibition.

Sixty years ago, on 29 June 1951, the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, more than 40 young men entered the Freising Cathedral, to receive priestly ordination. Among them were Joseph Ratzinger and his brother Georg.

“It was a splendid summer day”, Benedict XVI remembered, “which remains unforgettable; the most important moment of my life”. The Pope also remembers that when Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber laid his hands on him, a lark rose twittering from behind the main altar. “For me it was like a voice from on high saying, ‘well done, you are on the right path’”. Sixty years have passed since the Holy Father pronounced his adsum , or “I am here” and to celebrate this anniversary, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi has gathered 60 artists to demonstrate devotion to the Pontiff with their own adsum .

On 4 July Benedict XVI will inaugurate in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall the exhibition entitled, “Lo splendore della Verità, la bellezza della Carità”. Celebrating 60 years of priesthood with artists from all over the world is in line with the intellectual spirit of Benedict XVI. On more than one occasion the Pope has shown his willingness for a new dialogue between the Church and culture. It was he who wanted to meet 250 international artists in November 2009.

Moreover, in his writings, Benedict XVI has often addressed the theme of the Church and modern culture; a culture which has lost its religious foundation since it lives in a process of continual questioning itself. The Pope writes that if the Church “must open herself to the problems of our times, so culture too must question itself about its lack of roots and about its foundation, thereby opening itself to a painful healing process, that is, to profound reconciliation with religion, because it is only in this way that culture can receive its life blood”.

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Sept. 20, 2019

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