Pope Francis delivered a warning on technology to an assemblage of German altar servers who were gathered in Rome Tuesday on a pilgrimage. The Sovereign of the Vatican City State railed on timewasters such as Smartphones, soap operas and mindless Internet surfing.
“Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things,” the pope suggested to the 50,000 young people gathered at St. Peer's square. “Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions.”
Among the activities frowned upon by the Holy Father were “chatting on the Internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and (using) the products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve the quality of life, but distract attention away from what is really important.”
The Associated Press on Wednesday commented on Pope Francis and his continued foray into the electronic world – something that was largely initiated by his predecessor. “The 77-year-old pope has Twitter accounts in several languages. They were first used by his predecessor Benedict in 2011, and his English language account has 4.3 million followers,” writes the AP.
The Washington Post ran a clever headline, along with a pic of the pope getting in on a selfie: “Pope Francis to young people: Get off the Internet and do something productive, for God’s sake.”
Writes the Post: “Admittedly, the pope has something of a point here: If you ever spend more than five minutes in a room with someone between the ages of roughly 12 and 25, you too will want to throw their phones in the nearest baptismal font.”
Amen to that!
In June, Francis had a message for mobsters – you’re out. The pope excommunicated all members of the Italian mafia in a speech delivered to 100,000 followers gathered outdoors in Piana di Sibari, Calabria, southern Italy.
The month prior, Francis made waves by suggesting that the traditional Catholic position on same sex marriage appeared to be changing from the regimental view long held by traditional Roman Catholics. In an Italian newspaper interview, the Holy Father suggested that strict interpretations of the marriage definition could be relaxed in order to accommodate gay and lesbian unions – something strictly condemned in the Bible.