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Pope Francis encourages artists to promote beauty and truth

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Pope Francis meets with international film, media and music celebrities at the first “Vitae Summit” in the Vatican, and reminds artists that they should use beauty to preach the Gospel.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Thursday marked the final day of a two-day meeting in the Vatican’s Casina Pio IV aimed at promoting a conversation on how to use the arts to foster a culture of hope and unity.

The “Vitae Summit”, organized by the Vitae Global Foundation, was animated by a host of celebrities of the arts, media and entertainment industries gathered to discuss their role in triggering a cultural transformation that promotes the common good, universal values and a culture of encounter.

Preachers of beauty

Pope Francis joined participants at the end of the summit and encouraged them to be “preachers of beauty”, because he said, “Beauty is good for us; beauty heals; beauty helps us go forward on our journey.”

A Holy See Press Office communiqué revealed that during their conversation, the Pope and those present focused on the need to reach out to young people, communicate the message of the Gospel, and share stories of witness and accompaniment that stem from an encounter with God.

The Pope, the statement said, pointed to the need to undertake paths of communication that lead to truth, goodness and, particularly for artists, beauty and the path of contemplation.

“A person on a journey is on a quest,” the Pope said, noting that art can provide inspiration for those who undertake a journey in the awareness that the Lord is awaiting us.

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Pope Francis speaks at the Vitae Summit

Ethics of art

The Pope also expressed his hope that “art may open doors, touch hearts and help people to go forward”, and he spoke of the need for an ethical conscience for artists.

Art, he said, must stimulate “respect for people” and encourage them “to go forward rather than to buy.”

“The role of art,” he said, “is to put ‘a thorn in the heart, which moves us to contemplation, and contemplation puts us on a path.”

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