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Pope Calls Organ an Evangelization Tool

Says Music Can Bring Experience of God Who Is Joy

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 7, 2008 ( Benedict XVI says that organs can proclaim the Gospel in a way, recalling a concert during which the Pope said he and the other listeners were able to experience that God is joy.

A choral group from Regensburg, Germany, visited the Holy Father on Saturday at Castel Gandolfo. On Sept. 13, 2006, in his visit to that city, the Pontiff blessed the organ of the “Alte Kapelle” [Old Chapel] there, where his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, was once director.

Benedict XVI told his visitors he was pleased with their visit. “It revives in me the memory of that wonderful day, in which I was able to bless the new organ, the ‘Benedikt-Orgel,’ in the ‘Old Chapel,'” reported the Vatican press office.

He said: “I have an indelible memory of how — in the harmony of that wonderful organ, of the choir conducted by Kohlhaufel, and the luminous beauty of the church — we experienced the joy that comes from God. Not just the ‘spark of the gods’ of which Schiller speaks, but truly the flame of the Holy Spirit that brought us to feel in our innermost being what we also know from the Gospel of St. John: That he himself is joy. And this joy was communicated to us.”

The Pope added how pleased he was that this organ “continues to play and to help people perceive something of the splendor of our faith — a splendor kindled by the Holy Spirit himself. With it, the organ carries out an evangelizing function, proclaims the Gospel in its own way.”

“We, here, cannot offer an organ or a choir, but we have the beauty of the ‘Castle’ and the beauty of the South spread around us,” he continued. “Although the sun at this moment radiates its heat in, perhaps, a too abundant manner, the light of the South, however, remains as a small celebration that will be for all of you a memory to take home.

“I see that we will also receive gifts, therefore I can already express beforehand my gratitude because you did not come empty-handed. I can assure you of most beautiful and rich days here in Rome. And take my cordial greetings to Regensburg and to the ‘Old Chapel.'”

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