I feel that the Baroque gets a raw deal. English culture is deeply antipathetic to it; why? Because it is (for the most part) foreign and we are a nasty insular people given to defining ourselves only in terms of not being foreign? Perhaps you can tell me. But there are writers of intelligence - Pickstock and Hemming spring to mind - who don't give the Baroque a fair run. And in liturgical circles, you only have to characterise something as 'Baroque' to have spoken its condemnation.
On his trip to Prague, our Holy Father said something which strikes me as perhaps the start of a Spirituality of the Baroque; if Prague, he asked, is the heart of Europe, in what does that 'heart' consist?
Surely a clue is found in the architectural jewels that adorn this city ... Their beauty expresses faith; they are epiphanies of God that rightly leave us pondering the glorious marvels to which we creatures can apire when we give expression to the aesthetic and cognitive aspects of our inmost being ... The creative encounter of the classical tradition and the Gospel gave birth to a vision of man and society attentive to God's presence among us.
It looks to me as though Benedict's theology of the aesthetic may prove one of the significant intellectual gifts of this pontificate.