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Preach short sermons, to prevent people from sleeping in church  – Pope Francis 

Pope Francis

Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, has advised priests to keep their sermons brief to avoid people falling asleep. A homily in a Roman Catholic service typically follows a reading from the Bible and is meant to reinforce the teaching. The Pope suggested that priests limit their sermons to a maximum of eight minutes to prevent congregation members from nodding off.

The sermon, or message delivered during a church service, “must be short: an image, a thought, a feeling”, the pope said during his weekly audience on Wednesday. “It should not last longer than eight minutes “because after that time attention is lost and people fall asleep, and they are right,” said the 87-year-old pontiff.

“Priests sometimes talk a lot and you don’t understand what they are talking about.” Francis has spoken in the past of the need for priests not to ramble on during sermons but his own use of language is now under scrutiny. He caused controversy amid reports that he used a highly derogatory term to describe the LGBTQ+ community.

Francis apologised last month after Italian media attributed to him the use of the word “frociaggine”, a vulgar Italian term roughly translating as “faggotness” or “faggotry”, during a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops on May 20. However, according to Italian news agency ANSA, Francis repeated the term on Tuesday as he met Roman priests.

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