Pope urges young people not to waste time on Internet and smartphones

ROME Wed Aug 6, 2014 5:04am IST

Pope Francis holds hands with youths during a meeting with altar workers in St Peter's square at the Vatican August 5, 2014.  REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini

Pope Francis holds hands with youths during a meeting with altar workers in St Peter's square at the Vatican August 5, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/ Stefano Rellandini

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Tuesday urged 50,000 German altar servers not to waste time on the Internet, smartphones and television, but to spend their time on more productive activities.

"Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things," the pope said in a short speech to the altar servers - young people who help the priest during religious services - who had come to Rome on a pilgrimage.

"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."

Activities cited by Francis as futile 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 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.

He has described the Internet as a "gift from God", but also cautioned that high-speed world of digital social media needed calm, reflection and tenderness if it was to be "a network not of wires but of people".

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
kimberyote wrote:
The Internet!
Where religion goes to DIE!

Aug 05, 2014 6:45am IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reuters Showcase

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Google bolsters artificial intelligence efforts, partners with Oxford.  Full Article 

Addressing Concerns

Addressing Concerns

China's Xiaomi shifts some smartphone user data out of Beijing on privacy concerns.  Full Article 

New Email Service

New Email Service

Google launches new email service dubbed "Inbox".  Full Article 

Apple-1 Auction

Apple-1 Auction

Early Apple computer sells for $905,000 at auction.  Full Article 

No More Nokia

No More Nokia

Microsoft looks set to drop Nokia name from smartphones.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Apple ponders sapphire options, leaves door open for GT.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage