Priests told to 'spice up sermons with more scandal'
SERMONS delivered by Roman Catholic priests are often "grey and dull" and need to be livened up with the "scandal" contained within the Bible, the Vatican's most senior cultural official said.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said preaching in churches had become so formulaic and boring that it risked becoming "irrelevant" to congregations accustomed to the excitement and immediacy of television and the internet.
"The advent of televised and computerised information requires us to be compelling and trenchant, to cut to the heart of the matter, resort to narratives and colour," said the cardinal, who as the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture is the Vatican's unofficial culture minister.
Too many priests employed theological language that was "grey, dull and flavourless" and instead should spice up their sermons with graphic stories contained in the Bible.
The Bible is "crowded with stories, symbols and images", he said.
Speaking at a conference in Rome, he said Twitter was also an effective way to spread the "Word of God".
"We need to remember that communicating faith doesn't just take place through sermons. It can be achieved through the 140 characters of a Twitter message," he said.
Cardinal Ravasi, a champion of new media who writes a blog for the website of Italy's financial daily, 'Il Sole 24 Ore', said priests should be aware their congregations were "the children of television and the internet". (© Daily Telegraph, London)