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Pope says Lent ‘is a time to give up useless words and gossip’

The Pope has encouraged people to put their phones away for Lent and stop trolling people.

Lent is a 40-day period leading up to Easter when Christians traditionally give up something they enjoy such as chocolate or alcohol.

Pope say Lent ‘is a time to give up useless words and gossip’

It is a small sacrifice for people to make to honour the 40 days and nights Jesus spent fasting in the desert when he resisted temptation from the devil.

With the modern-day importance placed on mobile phones and social media, Pope Francis has suggested people could try doing without them for a while.

Particularly when they are used for bad, such as online bullying and trolling.

Online trolling is a huge issue that still needs to be tackled by authorities and social media companies.

The anonymous nature of social media means that people can say what they want and feel there are little to no repercussions to their actions.

However, online bullying and trolling can make lives miserable for the victims, and has even led to suicides in several cases.

In an address to his followers at the Vatican on Ash Wednesday the Pope said: “We live in an environment polluted by too much verbal violence, by many offensive and harmful words, which the Internet amplifies.

“Today, people insult each other as if they were saying ‘Good Day’… We are inundated with empty words, with advertisements, with subtle messages.

“We have become used to hearing everything about everyone and we risk slipping into a worldliness that atrophies our hearts.”

He added that Lent “is a time to give up useless words, gossip, rumours, tittle-tattle and speak to God on a first name basis”.

The Pope also posted the following message on Twitter.

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