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Pope Francis Asks Catholics to Stop Trolling Online for Lent

The Holy Father urges Catholics to be kinder online




Pope Francis called on all Catholics around the world to disconnect from their phones and TVs, as well as to give up trolling on social media for this Lent. He explained to believers that they should not just observe the fasting of food but also of online insults during the 40-day season that leads up to Easter.

“Lent is the right time to make room for the Word of God. It is the time to turn off the television and open the Bible. It is the time to disconnect from your cell phone and connect to the Gospel,” his-holiness said.

“We are inundated with empty words, with advertisements, with subtle messages. We have become used to hearing everything about everyone and we risk slipping into a worldliness that atrophies our hearts,” the Pope stressed as he addressed 12,000 people in St Peter’s Square for his general audience on Ash Wednesday.

“We live in an atmosphere polluted by too much verbal violence, too many offensive and harmful words, which are amplified by the internet,” he continued. “Today, people insult each other as if they were saying good day.”

Lolo Kiko, as he has been called in the Philippines, has given other Lenten speeches relating to how people act online, from giving up gossip, pausing a little in this fast-paced world, and pointing out that the internet is a “good gift from God.”

The Academy Award-nominated film The Two Popes, released at the end of last year, dives into a series of imagined conversations between Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) after the former announced his resignation. Read about the film here.

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