VATICAN CITY, JULY 26, 2012 ( The Vatican announced today that beginning in August, two priests will be assigned to attend to visitors to the Vatican Museums. They will be available to dialogue with the visitors and to offer them, should they wish, spiritual advice and assistance.

As Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State, explained in L'Osservatore Romano, "there is nothing institutional or pretentious about the initiative. The priests will simply be on hand with a table and two chairs at two strategic points on the normal itinerary visitors follow, and anyone who wishes may approach them to exchange a few words, or to reflect together."

"The Vatican Museums," Bishop Sciacca continued, "are an 'unicum' among the world's great cultural institutions. They are a precious casket in which, thanks to their wisdom and love of 'beauty,' the Roman Pontiffs have gathered together what are perhaps the most exalted works that human genius has produced over the course of the centuries. ... And the Museums are not afraid to show that they, in fact, represent a way through which the good news of God-made-man can be announced to the world." 

The Museums "welcome everyone, whatever their beliefs or origins, while reminding each of them -- through a statue, a piece of gold, a painting or a fresco -- of the goal for which we were created."