catholic church

Post image for With a New Pope, a New Chance for Openness on Art and History Seems Missed

With Catholicism’s long connection with the arts, from Michelangelo making the Sistine Chapel a place of transcendence to the Vatican Museums’ huge troves of artifacts and art, it’s worth looking at how the incoming pope may feel about contemporary visual culture. Yet while the outgoing Pope Benedict XII was surprisingly open about art and even convened artists at the Vatican in order to improve relations, the prospects for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who will now be Pope Francis (he’ll become Pope Francis I once there’s a Pope Francis II), seem less promising.

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Post image for The Legacy of a Conservative Catholic Pope Who Was Surprisingly Open-Minded About Art

As the first Catholic Pope to resign from his position since Gregory XII in the 15th century, Pope Benedict XVI has startled the world with his announcement that he will step down by the end of this month. While controversially conservative (and much less benevolent-appearing than his predecessor the grandfatherly Pope John Paul II), the German-born religious leader did have an open mind at least in encouraging a renewed relationship between the Catholic Church and art, viewing the use of beauty as a path to the sacred.

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