Pope Attends Interreligious Concert
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra performs for Pope Benedict XVI and guests at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, 11 July. The orchestras members are young musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and other Arab countries. (photo: CNS/LOsservatore Romano via Reuters)
12 Jul 2012 by Catholic News Service
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — Just as
individual musicians in an orchestra turn dissonance into
harmony through hard work, sacrifice and listening to one
another, so, too, can the worlds people turn conflict into peace, said Pope Benedict XVI.
The pope made his remarks following a July 11
concert performed in his honor by young musicians from
Israel, the Palestinian territories and other Arab countries.
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is directed by
the Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and was cofounded
in 1999 by Barenboim and the late Palestinian–American scholar Edward Said. The interfaith orchestra celebrated the feast of St. Benedict by treating the pope to two Beethoven symphonies — Nos. 5 and 6.
The pope thanked the musicians for their
performance, held in the courtyard of the papal summer
villa at Castel Gandolfo, and said that the orchestras existence reflected the conviction that music can bring people together in spite of all dividing forces.
Music is a harmony of differences as happens
every time before a concert begins, when all the different instruments are brought in tune, he said.
But this doesnt happen magically or
automatically, he said, since it takes patience, time, sacrifice and dedication to listen to others and avoiding grandstanding.
The great symphony of peace among people is
never fully complete, the pope said, recalling how his generation lived through the tragedies of the Holocaust
and World War II.
It takes work to achieve peace and requires
leaving aside all violence and weapons, being committed
to personal and communal conversion, with dialogue and
the patient search for possible understandings, he said.
The pope said he hoped the multifaith orchestra
would continue to sow the hope for peace in the world
through the universal language of music.
Tags: Pope Benedict XVI Palestine Holy Land Israel Interreligious