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Renowned as composer, conductor, theorist, author, pedagogue, and organist, Aurelio Porfiri has served the Church on multiple continents at the highest levels. Born and raised in Italy, he currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Composer in Residence for Santa Rosa de Lima School (Macao, China).
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"The union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it."
— Pope Pius XI (6 January 1928)

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Between Ethics And Reality: The Liturgical Musician
published 3 June 2014 by Aurelio Porfiri

HAVE A WEIRD QUESTION. Must those that have something to do with liturgical music be good persons? I know that people will start to think the writer of this article is crazy, and I assure you that is not completely incorrect. But writing now using the good part of my brain, I would like to say something more about the issue above.

As a Christian, as a Catholic, I know I am called to a life of holiness. So, I know that my direction is that one, and that at the end of my pilgrimage is God. But I also know, and feel, that our human nature is weak. Original sin is deeply present in our daily life. We fall many times. We are sinners. Liturgical musicians are not exceptions. We struggle with our weak nature and try to keep our eyes fixed on Christ even if our body may be tortured from sin.

Here is, I think, the important discrimination, that is helped by an argument raised by Pope Francis: We know we are sinners, we should avoid being corrupted. Who is corrupt? The one that justifies sin. I mean, I know that doing some things in my life I may go against church teachings, so after every falling I will try to stand up again. It is all falling and standing up. But the corrupt person thinks that everything is possible.

Many Catholic artists were sinners in many regards, but still able to produce masterworks of liturgical art. Why? Because, even if they were not able to win many battles in this earthly life, they were able to keep their eyes where the final battle, the only important one, will be won or lost.


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