Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

MANILA — An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday urged the faithful to minimize the use of gadgets and deeply reflect on the spirit of the Lenten season.

“We have to go back to the basics of reflection and prayer which is, una (first), silence; if we have cellphones or anything that distracted by other things we will never get that silence necessary for us to be able to listen to God,” Boac Bishop Marcelino Maralit Jr., chairperson of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

While stressing that there is nothing wrong with gadgets, Maralit said people should be wary of negative things that come with its use.

“The problem is (gadgets are) contaminated and this world, right now, marami nang laman (na fake news ang) ating mga cellphone and gadgets (our cellphones and gadgets are filled with fake news),” Maralit added.

He, meanwhile, urged the faithful to read the Bible.

“I would like to invite everybody during especially this Lenten season the ability to put aside your phones for at least two hours a day; pray, read the bible, read spiritual books, pray the rosary, do something different this Lenten season and I assure you it will change you a lot,” he said.

At the start of the Lenten season on Ash Wednesday (February 26), Pope Francis urged Catholics to refrain from trolling and spreading hate messages on social media for the annual observance.

The Global Web Index reported that the Philippines tops the list of countries where social media use is prevalent, at 72 percent (71 million Filipinos). (iam/

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