Lift up your hearts, not your cell phones, pope tells priests, bishops

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REUTERS, AFP
Wed, 2017-11-08 20:51
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1510152759445660300

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Wednesday chastised priests and bishops who take pictures with their cell phones during Masses, saying they should focus on God instead.
“The priest says ‘lift up your hearts.’ He does not say, ‘lift up your cell phones to take pictures,’” Francis told tens of thousands of people at his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square, referring to a communion prayer in the Roman Catholic Mass.
In his improvised remarks, he called using cell phones during Mass “a very ugly thing,” adding: “It’s so sad when I’m celebrating mass here or inside the basilica and I see lots of phones held up — not just by the faithful, but also by priests and bishops! Please!“
“The Mass is not a show … so remember, no cell phones!” he said, prompting laughter and applause from the crowd.
In February, he told youngsters to get off their cell phones during family meals, warning that the death of face-to-face conversations can have dire consequences for society, even resulting in wars.
He has called the Internet, social media and text messages “a gift of God” if used wisely, but has also tried to persuade today’s youth to swap their smartphones for pocket-sized Bibles.
Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, has regularly urged the faithful to be more spiritual and his priests and bishops to be more humble.
Shortly after his election in 2013, he said it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars and eager to use the latest smartphone.
The pope is driven around in a simple blue Ford Focus and is not known to have ever used a cell phone in public since his election.
The 80-year old Argentine pontiff is no stranger to the world of social media, boasting over 14 million followers on his English-language Twitter account alone, and often posing for selfies with enthusiastic young pilgrims.

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