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Pope Francis urges priests to keep sermons short

By: Agence France Presse June 14,2024 - 06:30 AM

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Pope Francis gestures during the weekly general audience on June 12, 2024 at St Peter’s square in The Vatican. Agence France-Presse

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged Catholic priests to keep their homilies concise, recommending a maximum length of eight minutes to prevent their audiences from falling asleep.

The homily or sermon is the address in which a priest comments on a reading from the Bible.

A homily, he said, was meant to transfer the word of God from the book to life.

“But for this, the homily must be brief: an image, a thought and a sentiment,” he told the crowd at his weekly general audience, improvising as he went.

“The homily must not go beyond eight minutes, because after that time, attention is lost and people go to sleep, they fall asleep and they are right to do so,” the 87-year-old pontiff added.

“And I want to say this to priests, who talk a lot, very often, and one does not understand what they are talking about,” he continued in a light-hearted tone.

This is not the first time the head of the Catholic Church has offered such advice.

In 2023, he described long homilies as a “disaster”.

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TAGS: homily, Pope Francis

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