Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 13 May |
Saint of the Day: The Blessed Virgin Mary ~ Our Lady of Fatima
home iconChurch
line break icon

Benedict XVI’s unique “proof” for Christianity: Music

Benedict XVI

ARTURO MARI | OSSERVATORE ROMANO | AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 09/03/19

"Western music is something unique, having no equal in other cultures. And this—it seems to me—should make us think."

On the feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great, we remember the rich history of sacred music, from Gregorian chant onward.

In this regard, perhaps nothing higher could be said of music than a reflection offered by Benedict XVI in 2015 when he received an honorary doctorate from the John Paul II Pontifical University of Krakow and from the Academy of Music of Krakow, Poland.

The German pope, a great lover of music and himself a pianist, said he considers that the great accomplishments of Western music, rooted in the experience of faith, shows forth the truth of Christianity. He is suggesting this music is its own type of apologetics.


WOMAN LOOKING AT PHONE

Read more:
What is apologetics in the Catholic Church?

Take a look:

At this point I wish to express a thought which in recent times has taken hold of me, that is, how the diverse cultures and religions enter more in relation between themselves. In the realm of diverse cultures and religions, a great literature is present, a great architecture, great paintings, and great sculptures. And in each there is also music. However, in no other cultural sphere is there a music of equal greatness than of that born in the realm of the Christian faith: from Palestrina to Bach, to Händel, all the way to Mozart, Beethoven, and Bruckner. Western music is something unique, having no equal in other cultures. And this—it seems to me—should make us think. Certainly, Western music greatly surpasses the religious and ecclesial sphere. However, it finds its deepest origin in the liturgy, in the encounter with God. In Bach, for whom the glory of God represents the end of all music, this is totally evident. The great and pure response of Western music came about in the encounter with the God who, in the liturgy, makes himself present among us in Christ Jesus. This music, for me, demonstrates the truth of Christianity.


GREGORIAN CHANT

Read more:
The beautiful Gregorian chant ‘Cibavit eos’

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
SAINTS
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
3
MOTHER SHORT FILM
Zoe Romanowsky
Moving 1-minute film about motherhood will touch your heart
4
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
5
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
6
MOTHER OF ASIA - TOWER OF PEACE
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
7
HOUSE OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA
Bret Thoman, OFS
A pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Catherine of Siena
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.