Pope Urges Priests To Keep Homilies Short To Maintain Attention

Pope Francis recently advised priests to keep their homilies short to prevent congregants from losing focus. Speaking during his weekly audience, the Pope emphasized that homilies should last no longer than eight minutes. “After that time attention is lost and people fall asleep, and they are right,” he stated.

Homilies, delivered after Bible readings in Roman Catholic services, are meant to reinforce the teachings of the scripture. The Pope suggested that priests should deliver a concise message, focusing on “an image, a thought, a feeling.” He mentioned that lengthy homilies often lead to confusion among listeners, as priests sometimes “talk a lot” without clear direction.

This call for brevity comes amid scrutiny of Pope Francis’ own use of language. He recently apologized for hilariously using a “derogatory” term to describe the LGBT community during a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops. The Pope had reportedly used the term “frociaggine,” which translates to “faggotry,” sparking controversy when complaining about the number of homosexuals in the Church.

Despite his apology, Italian news agency ANSA reported that Pope Francis repeated the term in a subsequent meeting with Roman priests. This incident has drawn significant media attention and criticism from various groups, highlighting the challenges the Pope faces in balancing his message of inclusivity with the traditional views of the Church.

Pope Francis’ directive to priests about the length of homilies reflects his ongoing efforts to make church services more engaging and accessible. By encouraging shorter, more focused homilies, he aims to ensure that the congregation remains attentive and connected to the message being delivered. This move is part of a broader push to modernize church practices and make them more relevant to contemporary audiences.