Posted May 10, 2011
Pope: Christians Believe in Someone, Not Something
Concert Honors Benedict XVI for 6th Anniversary
VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2011 The Christian faith is not based on believing in
something, but in Someone, Benedict XVI says.
The Pope affirmed this Thursday in an address following a concert in honor of
his 6th anniversary as the Successor of Peter. He was elected April 19 and
installed April 24, 2005.
The concert was offered to the Pope by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. The
orchestra and choir of the Opera Theatre of Rome, respectively conducted by
Maestro Jesús López Cobos and Maestro Roberto Gabbiani, performed Antonio
Vivaldi's "Credo RV 591" and Gioachino Rossini's "Stabat Mater."
The Holy Father reflected on the beginning and ending words of the creed:
"Credo" and "Amen."
"What does 'I believe' mean?," he asked, indicating that it can mean to accept
something among one's convictions, to trust someone and to be certain.
"When, however, we say it in the Creed," he said, "it assumes a more profound
meaning. It is to affirm with confidence the real meaning of the reality that
sustains us, that sustains the world; it means to accept this meaning as the
solid ground on which we can be without fears; it is to know that the foundation
of everything, of ourselves, cannot be created by us, but can only be received."
The Holy Father added that Christian faith is not "'I believe something,' but 'I
believe in Someone,' in the God who revealed himself in Jesus."
"In him I perceive the real meaning of the world," the Pontiff said, "and this
believing involves the whole person, who is on the way to him."
"The word 'Amen,' which in Hebrew has the same root as the word 'faith,' takes
up this same concept: to lean with confidence on God, the solid base."
Vivaldi and Rossini
In regard to Vivaldi's piece, Benedict XVI pointed out three things, beginning
with the unusual characteristic of the composer's vocal production: the absence
"In this way, Vivaldi wishes to express the 'we' of the faith. The 'I believe'
is the 'we' of the Church that sings, in space and time, as a community of
believers, its faith; 'my' affirmation 'I believe' is within the 'we' of the
community," he reflected.
Then he pointed out "the two splendid central pictures: Et incarnatus est and
Crucifixus. Vivaldi pauses, as was customary, at the moment in which God who
seems far away becomes close, is incarnated and gives himself to us on the
He noted how it expresses "the profound sense of wonder in face of this Mystery
and invite[s] us to meditation, to prayer."
"A last observation. In his first meeting with Vivaldi, Carlo Goldoni, great
exponent of the Venetian theater, pointed out: 'I found him surrounded by music
and with the breviary in hand.' Vivaldi was a priest and his music is born from
The Pope went on to describe Gioacchino Rossini's "Stabat Mater" as "a great
meditation on the mystery of Jesus and on the sorrow of Mary."
"Rossini's religiosity expresses a rich gamut of feelings in face of the
mysteries of Christ, with a strong emotive tension."
Rossini's work, he added, is characterized by "an emotive intensity that becomes
a sincere prayer," "a simple and genuine faith."
"Dear friends, may this evening's pieces nourish our faith," said the Pope at
the end of his address, as he reiterated to everyone his gratitude for the event
and requested that they remember to "pray for my ministry in the Vineyard of the