Archbishop Foley praises 'cinema at the service of mankind'

 On Tuesday evening, Archbishop John P Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, inaugurated the Ninth International Congress on Cinema and Spirituality, which was held in Rome's "Roma Tre" University on November 22 and 23.

Referring to the theme of this year's gathering, "the temptation to believe," the archbishop said that submitting to such temptation "means starting along the road of the difficult search for Truth in a world such as today's which swings from religious indifference to religious extremism; it means responding to God despite human incredulity, which can never be completely overcome, it means undertaking an act of courage, a leap of quality at the existential level."

The president of the Pontifical Council recalled how in various films "the temptation to believe ... has given rise to a dialogue between human beings and God, a dialogue capable of stimulating spectators to profound reflection, bringing them face to face with their own intimate identity and with their fellow men."

"The great film directors," the archbishop continued, "know how to tell the stories of men and women of all times and cultures to the men and women of today, echoing personal experiences of great intensity. And it is precisely this valuable potential of cinema that leads me to hope that it will continue to place itself at the service of mankind, guiding man to a spiritual understanding of his own essence."

Archbishop Foley highlighted the fact that "cinema has traversed more than one hundred years," yet it "continues to amaze us, to make us think and question ourselves through the masterful art of those artists who have chosen to share their spiritual experience with the spectator."

Source: VIS
ROME - 24 November 2005 - 293 words

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