Priest-Poet Evaluates Pope's Meeting With Artists


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LISBON, Portugal, NOV. 27, 2009 ( There is a great hunger for beauty in the heart of modern man, according to a priest and poet who participated in Benedict XVI's meeting with artists.

Father Tolentino Mendonça of Madeira, Portugal, gave some of his impressions about the Pope's meeting last Saturday with some 260 representatives from the world of art.

The meeting served to tell the artists that "within the Church, within the Christian space, they have their home, a sort of homeland," explained the priest to the Ecclesia news agency.

"The heart of modern man hungers for beauty, for a total beauty, illumined by the transcendent," he added.

The priest said that art "is always singular," an "unrepeatable moment," able to "represent the human and to move us in our most profound being."

Father Mendonça affirmed that he supports an "alliance" between the Church and art, acknowledging what is "proper to the artistic discourse."

And he highlighted the Pope's "gesture of hospitality and recognition," underlining that "many times, in an overcrowded and anonymous society such as ours, the artist, or creator, has no recognized place and his work ends up being too marginalized."

The Church, the priest affirmed, places each artist "in the center of human experience itself, as the one who is able to reflect the great movements of man's development," contributing to making our culture "see artistic production in another way."