Thursday 27 July 2017

Happiness isn't an app you can download, Pope tells teens

Pope Francis confesses a young faithful during the Youth Jubilee at Saint Peter square in Vatican (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP Photo)
Pope Francis confesses a young faithful during the Youth Jubilee at Saint Peter square in Vatican (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP Photo)

Greg Martin

Pope Francis has warned teenagers that happiness can't be downloaded like a mobile phone app.

Francis used the reference to connect to faithful aged 13 to 16 who are converging on Rome for a Holy Year weekend for teenagers.

During his homily yesterday in St Peter's Square, he told a crowd of 100,000 that "happiness has no price" and is "not an app that you can download on your phones, nor will the latest update bring you freedom and grandeur in love".

A day earlier, in a video message to the teens' rally in a Rome stadium, Francis likened being out of contact with God through lack of love to being where there's no mobile phone reception.

After Mass, dozens of white-robed priests surrounded Francis, many snapping selfies with him.

The Pope also personally heard the confessions of 16 teenagers who were visiting the Vatican.

Francis and each of the 16 teenagers sat face-to-face in simple chairs set up in pairs for him and many others hearing confessions in the square.

The teenagers seemed at ease, with Francis shaking hands warmly with the youths.

In all, the Pope spent more than an hour with the teens in the square.

He has dedicated the Holy Year to two central themes of his papacy: mercy and reconciliation.

Irish Independent

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