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Pope urges people to put down smart phones and spend time with family

Pope Francis has urged people to put down their mobile phones and to go for a meal with their families and loved ones.

The Pope says we should spend less time glued to our latest mobile devices and more time on what really matters – real human interaction.

He believes that it would do wonders for family life if parents made sure that their children didn’t bring their smart phones to the dinner table.

The Pope says people should put down their smart phones and spend more time with their families

However, he is worried that children – and parents – all over the world have become addicted to their gadgets.

The Pope was speaking at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square, Rome.

He said: “A family that almost never eats together or does not talk at the table but instead watches the television, or smart phones, is not a close family.

“When children at the table are attached to the computer or the phone and don’t listen to each other, this is not a family.

“In the family, if something is wrong, or if there’s some hidden wound, at the table you see it right away… Sharing our meal and the experiences of our day, is a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity.”

Pope Francis added that time spent at the meal table with family was about so much more than simply the food and drink.

He continued: “Its symbol, its icon, is the family gathered around the table, partaking of a meal together – and therefore not merely food, but also sentiments, stories, and events. It is a fundamental experience.

“When there is a celebration – a birthday, an anniversary – the family gathers around the table. In some cultures it is customary to do so also following bereavement, to stay close to those who suffer for the loss of a family member.

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“Sadly the family meal, this great symbol of togetherness, is disappearing in some societies.”

Maeve Binchy: Everybody has always loved eating in Ireland and the family always gathered around the table – which was also where all the stories were told.

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