Pope Francis: Drop the cellphone, pick up the Bible

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 5, 2017. 

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has called on the faithful to consult the Bible with the same frequency as they might consult their cellphones for messages.

Francis urged a packed St. Peter’s Square following his weekly Angelus blessing Sunday to give the Bible the same place in daily life as cellphones, asking: “What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones.”

A study last year by the research company dscout found that the average smartphone user spends 2.42 hours on their device each day — no doubt significantly more time than many spend with the Bible.

The pope’s latest message was a twist on his own frequent use of social media to reach the faithful, including regular messages on Twitter.