Part X: Towards a Renewed Dialogue
10. It is true nevertheless that, in the modern era, alongside this Christian humanism which has
continued to produce important works of culture and art, another kind of humanism, marked by the
absence of God and often by opposition to God, has gradually asserted itself. Such an atmosphere
has sometimes led to a separation of the world of art and the world of faith, at least in the sense that
many artists have a diminished interest in religious themes.
You know, however, that the Church has not ceased to nurture great appreciation for the value of art
as such. Even beyond its typically religious expressions, true art has a close affinity with the world of
faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, art remains a kind of
bridge to religious experience. In so far as it seeks the beautiful, fruit of an imagination which rises
above the everyday, art is by its nature a kind of appeal to the mystery. Even when they explore the
darkest depths of the soul or the most unsettling aspects of evil, artists give voice in a way to the
universal desire for redemption.
It is clear, therefore, why the Church is especially concerned for the dialogue with art and is keen
that in our own time there be a new alliance with artists, as called for by my revered predecessor
Paul VI in his vibrant speech to artists during a special meeting he had with them in the Sistine Chapel
on 7 May 1964. From such cooperation the Church hopes for a renewed "epiphany" of beauty
in our time and apt responses to the particular needs of the Christian community.