Art must be used in proclaiming the Word of God, German bishop remarks


Speaking to his fellow prelates, Bishop of Wurzburg, Germany Friedhelm Hofmann, remarked that art is a medium that can be used to draw people closer to Christ, especially those not attending church. 

In his speech on Saturday, during the 11th General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops, the German bishop stressed the urgency to explain the revelation of God, whose greatest revelation is Jesus Christ.  “The Word of God has been incultured in the most diverse cultures. It has an impact on art. In Europe, we see an impressive cultural Christian history, of almost 2000 years. Extraordinary architecture, works of figurative art, music and literature, all have been born of faith and embraced the witness of faith.”

He continued by stating that “now is the time that we must make this faith speak anew.” Bishop Hofmann pointed to the Middle Ages’ “Biblia pauperum” or poor man’s Bible, which was used to visually explain parts of the history of salvation to those who could not read, as an example of a way that new expression was given to the faith.

“Today,” Bishop Hofmann explained, “Christian culture must be explained because many persons no longer understand this language and no longer dedicate themselves directly to the Holy Scripture.”

Finally, he explained, “in contemporary culture, one must search for the traces of faith and bring them back to their use as a bridge.  If it is true that artists are the seismographers of their time, then it would be good to take advantage of this and involve them in the proclamation of the Word of God."

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