Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Sistine Chapel has power to 'move souls'

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, March 5 - The writings of both John
Paul II and Benedict XVI show they are believers in the power of
art to move men's souls.
"Here, at the foot of this magnificent polychrome Sistine
Chapel, is where the cardinals - a community responsible for
passing on the keys to the kingdom - meet. Here is where they
gather. And Michelangelo envelops them in his vision to this
day", John Paul II wrote in his 2003 Polish-language poem titled
Roman Triptych.
The verses resound today in all their significance as the
cardinals gather in conclave under Michelangelo's frescoed
ceiling to elect Saint Peter's new successor.
Writing his rules on how the next pontiff should be elected
in 1996, Wojtyla specified that "the election shall continue to
take place in the Sistine Chapel, where everything conspires to
feed the consciousness of the presence of God, before whose
judgment each one of us must one day appear".
The vision of Michelangelo's Last Judgment and the vault
with the Creation of Adam reappear in the middle chapter of the
Roman Triptych.
"The race in whose hands the endowment of the keys is
entrusted meets here, letting itself be surrounded by... the
vision Michelangelo left us", John Paul II wrote.
"It was so in August and then October of the memorable year
of the two conclaves, and so it shall be again, when the need
will arise after my death. Michelangelo's vision must speak to
them on that occasion".
The introduction to the Triptych was written by then Cardinal
Joseph Ratzinger, and his words today appear all the more
eloquent to those whose job it is to pick his successor.
"The contemplation of the Last Judgment is perhaps the most
moving part of the Triptych", the future Benedict XVI wrote in
2003.
"From the pope's internal vision, the memory of the August
and October 1978 conclaves emerges anew. As I was also present,
I know how we were exposed to those images at the hour of the
great decision, how they spoke to us; how they insinuated the
greatness of our responsibility into our very souls".

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