Pope Francis has criticised people taking pictures on their phones during Mass, something he lamented was now also being done by priests and bishops, The Tablet reports.
“The Mass is not a show,” he emphatically told the crowd in St Peter’s Square during his general audience yesterday. “Put down your phones, and raise up your hearts. It makes me so sad to see so many people taking out their phones during Mass.”
Priests in the Philippines were criticised for taking photos during a Mass celebrated by Francis when he visited the country in January 2015 while clergy in the United States were also photographed taking pictures during a papal liturgy in Madison Square garden New York and also in Philadelphia.
While the Pope regularly poses for selfies, including inside St Peter’s Basilica, he stressed yesterday that when people become distracted or bored during Mass they don’t realise that “Christ is present before them”.
Francis said he was starting a new series of catechesis on the Eucharist, to help people better understand the meaning of the Mass.
“We cannot forget the great number of Christians who, in the whole world, are in two thousand years of history, have endured to death to defend the Eucharist,” he said.
The Pope said that the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, was aimed at trying to help Christians “understand the greatness of faith and the beauty of an encounter with Christ” and for this reason it was necessary to carry out a “renewal of the liturgy”.
In recent months Francis has concentrated on trying to continue the reforms of the 1962-65 council including issuing a new law giving more power to local bishops over translations.
While his vision of reform has sometimes clashed with that of his liturgical prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Cardinal has also criticised the use of smartphones and tablets by priests.
'Put down your phones', Pope tells faithful (The Tablet)