There's a nice little article on zenit.org about Pope Benedict XVI's recent speech at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music about the importance of sacred music. An excerpt:
"'How rich is biblical and patristic tradition in highlighting the efficacy of song and sacred music in moving hearts and lifting toward, we could say, the very intimacy of the life of God,' he said.
"Benedict XVI recalled that Pope John Paul II said that 'today, as always, three characteristics distinguish sacred music: its "sanctity," its "true art," and its "universality," in other words the fact that it can be presented to any people or assembly.'"
A lot of people might think the Pontiff is a little out of touch if he believes that sacred music could possibly have a universal appeal in this day and age, but I defy anyone to quietly listen to Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli, for example, and not be elevated and exhilarated. (Even if it isn't that great of a recording.)