Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Pope Francis tells priests to keep homilies short as ‘people fall asleep’

Pope Francis tells priests to keep ...

Priests should keep their homilies short and speak for a maximum of eight minutes to prevent members of the congregation from nodding off, Pope Francis has said.

The homily, or message delivered during a church service, “must be short: an image, a thought, a feeling”, the pope said during his weekly audience on Wednesday.

It should not last longer than eight minutes “because after that time attention is lost and people fall asleep, and they are right,” said the 87-year-old pontiff.

“Priests sometimes talk a lot and you don’t understand what they are talking about.”

A homily in a Roman Catholic service usually follows a reading from the Bible and is used to reinforce the teaching.

Francis has spoken in the past of the need for priests not to ramble on during sermons but his own use of language is now under scrutiny.

He caused controversy amid reports that he used a highly derogatory term to describe the LGBTQ+ community.

Francis apologised last month after Italian media attributed to him the use of the word “frociaggine”, a vulgar Italian term roughly translating as “faggotness” or “faggotry”, during a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops on 20 May.

However, according to Italian news agency ANSA, Francis repeated the term on Tuesday as he met Roman priests.