A priest in the Philippines has been suspended for riding a hoverboard during Christmas Vigil Mass.
The priest rode the self-balancing scooter – a small platform between two wheels – up and down the aisles of the church in the diocese of San Pablo before the final blessing of the Mass, while singing a Christmas song.
The battery-powered hoverboard, nicknamed a “swegway”, is similar to a Segway, but without a handle. A film on YouTube shows the priest keeping perfect balance for over a minute as he sang to the congregation, sometimes turning on the spot.
The priest, who has not been named, was suspended from all duties in the parish.
In a statement the diocese said that his action, “a way of greeting his parishioners”, was “wrong”.
“The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence. It is the Memorial of the Lord’s Sacrifice. It is the source and summit of Christian life. It is the Church’s highest form of worship.
“Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people.
“The priest said that it was a wake-up call for him; he acknowledged that his action was not right and promised that it will not happen again.
“He will be out of the parish and will spend some time to reflect on this past event.
“He would like to apologise for what happened.”
While some comments on social media have been critical of the priest’s behaviour, others have seen nothing wrong with it.