Pope Francis has a Twitter account, but that doesn’t mean he thinks people should be tweeting or texting during dinner-time.
The pope this week urged those who are glued to their devices to put them down during family meals, according to the Catholic News Agency, which reported his remarks said in front of a general audience at St. Peter’s Square.
“Today we reflect on a characteristic of family life that we learn from the first years of life: togetherness. . . . Its symbol, its ‘icon,’ is the family gathered around the dinner table. The sharing of a meal — and beyond the food, sharing affections, stories, and events — is a fundamental experience. . . .
Togetherness is a sure thermometer for measuring the health of relationships: if something isn’t going well in a family, or if there’s some hidden wound, it’s immediately clear at the table. A family that almost never eats together, or that, rather than talking at table watches television or looks at the smartphone, is ‘not much of a family.’ When the children are attached to the computer and the telephone at the table, and don’t listen to one another, this isn’t family, it’s a hostel! . . .
Today, many social contexts pose obstacles to family togetherness. It’s true, today it’s not easy. We must find a way to recover it. At the table we talk, at the table we listen. No more silence, that silence that isn’t the silence of nuns, but the silence of selfishness, where everyone does his own thing, or is on the television or computer . . . and they don’t talk. No, no silence. We need to recover family togetherness while adapting it to the times.”
The pope is truly speaking to the entire world, and he may be onto something. Will you take his advice at your family dinner table?
Guess we won’t be seeing #dinnertime Instagram pics from the pope anytime soon.