By Nick Farrell in Rome @ Wednesday, March 04, 2009 8:28 AM
| ||Italian priests have given up trying to make people abstain from treats like cigarettes and chocolate for Lent. Instead they want people to give up their technology.|
The average Italian sends 50 texts each a month, so the Church thinks that it will be a great idea if they quit for Lent.
The idea was launched by the Catholic Missionary Centre in Modena and backed by the city's archbishop.
Potty priests think that giving up your SMS for a few weeks will help you share the suffering of Jesus during his 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. It is not clear whether the Messiah was tempted by the devil with an Ipod, or felt the need to call up his disciples on Facebook, but the argument is that you have to suffer in a way that is relevant to you.
A priest near Turin has distributed a black cloth to children to drape over the television. Given that Italian television is so bad and mostly geared up for elderly misogynistic men, kids probably would not notice, unless they were not allowed to watch Maria de Filippi's talent school show Amici or Big Brother.
The Modena centre said that 80 per cent of the mineral coltan, used in mobile phone components, comes from one region in Congo and that profits from its extraction helped fuel the civil war there. Nothing to do with religion at all, honest.
Young Italians, however, think the move is a bit of joke and consider it just more proof that the Catholic church is out of touch with their generation. X
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