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Phones in church are ‘like having Satan stashed away in your pocket’, says archbishop

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The archbishop lamented that young people 'keep sending messages even while they are praying'

Catholics should take an hour-long fast from their smartphones while in church during Lent, the Archbishop of Lahore has said.

Archbishop Sebastian Shaw called for “an hour of fasting from smartphones to avoid distractions during the 14 stations of the Via Crucis and Sunday Mass.”

“Mobile phones are like having Satan stashed away in your pockets when you come to church,” he added.

According to AsiaNews, the archbishop said young Pakistanis were becoming addicted to their phones. “Young people keep sending messages even while they are praying,” he said.

They should instead use Lent to “analyse their life, and give up habits and behaviours that increase the distance among them. Be firm in the face of temptation.”

Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad agreed with Archbishop Shaw. “Although it is a great source of information at one’s fingertips, the unbridled use of mobile phones is most dangerous for young people. For example, radiation is harmful and causes cancer; some use it for the wrong reasons and it can destroy families.”