Pope Francis: Lift up hearts, not phones, during Mass

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9) — Pope Francis is tired of seeing cell phones during Mass.

"At one point the priest in charge of the Mass says, 'We lift up our hearts.' He does not say, 'Lift up our cellphones to take photographs.' No! It's a bad thing!" the Pope said during his general audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday.

The pontiff had strong words for Mass-goers — and even the clergy — who took snapshots or videos during the holy ceremony.

"I tell you, it gives me so much sadness when I celebrate Mass here in the piazza or in the basilica, and I see so many cellphones raised — not just of the faithful, but some priests and even some bishops," said Pope Francis.

"Please! The mass is not a spectacle. It is to go to meet the passion and resurrection of the Lord," he added.

The Pope previously cautioned against the overuse of phones, particularly to families eating together at the dinner table.

"We know that sometimes they can keep people apart rather than together, as when at dinnertime everyone is surfing on a mobile phone, or when one spouse falls asleep waiting for the other who spends hours playing with an electronic device," he wrote in the apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia," or "The Joy of Love."

In a video for World Youth Day this year, Pope Francis also warned against the "false image of reality" presented on social media.

However, he has said last year that technology can be a "gift from God" if used wisely — albeit one which "involves a great responsibility."

"Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups," he said.