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Pope Francis: It's good to talk, but not on mobiles

A priest shows Pope Francis a phone Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Pope Francis boasts more than 18 million Twitter followers

Pope Francis has called for people to put away their mobile phones at the dinner table and get talking, citing Jesus, Mary and Joseph as examples.

They "prayed, worked and communicated with each other", the pope told a packed St Peter's Square on Sunday.

"We have to get back to communicating in our families," Pope Francis said in his unscripted remarks.

The Pope is an avid user of social media and often allows himself to be snapped with pilgrims for selfies.

"I ask myself if you, in your family, know how to communicate or are you like those kids at meal tables where everyone is chatting on their mobile phone ... where there is silence like at a Mass but they don't communicate," the Pope said.

"Fathers, parents, children, grandparents, brothers and sisters, this is a task to undertake today, on the day of the Holy Family," he added.

This is not the first time the Pope - who boasts more than 18 million Twitter followers - has chided his followers for spending too much time glued to their devices, especially during Mass.

"At a certain point the priest leading the ceremony says 'lift up our hearts'. He doesn't say 'lift up our mobile phones to take photographs' - it's a very ugly thing," he said in 2017.

"It's so sad when I'm celebrating mass here or inside the basilica and I see lots of phones held up - not just by the faithful, but also by priests and bishops! Please!"


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Media captionThe 12-year-old joined Pope Francis for a ride around St Peter's Square on the Popemobile

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