Pope Francis Tells Priests, Bishops, to Put Away Cell Phones During Mass

TOPSHOT - Pope Francis (R) arrives to lead his weekly general audience at Paul VI hall on December 21, 2016 at the Vatican as people take pictures of him with their cell-phone. / AFP / Alberto PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis urged the faithful—including bishops and priests—to put away their cell phones during Mass and to focus on what is going on.

“It makes me so sad when I celebrate here in the Piazza or Basilica and I see so many raised cellphones, not just of the faithful, even of some priests and even bishops,” the Pope said on Wednesday.

In his weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis spoke about the celebration of the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, and its importance for the lives of Christians because it allows them to “touch” Jesus.

“The Mass is not a show; it is an encounter with the Lord’s passion and resurrection,” the Pope said. “The Lord is here with us, present. Many times we go here and there, we look around at things and chat among ourselves while the priest celebrates the Eucharist… But it is the Lord!”

“At a certain point in the Mass the priest says, ‘Lift up your hearts,’” Francis recalled. “He does not say, ‘Lift up your cell phones to take some pictures.’ No, that’s terrible!” he said.

The Pope urged the faithful to consider their conduct with very important people, and then to compare it to their behavior in church.

“If the President of the Republic or some very important world figure were to come here today, it is certain that we would all want to be close to him and say hello to him. But think: when you go to Mass, there is the Lord! And you’re distracted. It is the Lord!” he said.

The Pope went on to stage a typical conversation:

“But Father, the Masses are boring.”

“What are you saying, that the Lord is boring?”

“No, no, no, the priests.”

“Ah, if only the priests would convert… but it is the Lord who is present!”

“Do you get it?”, Francis asked. “Don’t forget it. Participating in the Mass means reliving the Lord’s passion and saving death.”

“Remember: no phones,” he said.

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