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Pope Francis urges Catholics to disconnect from cellphones for Lent

The pope would like to see Catholics prioritize the Gospels over technology.

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Pope Francis delivered a Lent address on Feb. 26 in Vatican City.

Vatican

Pope Francis has some suggestions on how to observe Lent this year: disconnect from cell phones and lay off saying mean things online. 

The Christian holy day of Ash Wednesday on Feb. 26 marked the start of Lent, a 40-day period when many religious observers choose to give up certain foods or luxuries. Pope Francis addressed a crowd in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City to deliver a message for the occasion.

The Vatican News covered the Pope's remarks, which included references to "too much verbal violence" and "offensive and harmful words" amplified by the internet. "Lent is a time to disconnect from cellphones and connect to the Gospel," the pope said.

Pope Francis has addressed technology in the past, including warning about the spreading of misinformation online and pressing tech companies to battle child pornography online.

The pontiff's latest remarks suggest a modern twist on more common Lent sacrifices. It doesn't just have to be about giving up coffee or alcohol.