Pope urges Catholics to give up Twitter abuse during Lent

Charlie Spargo's picture

This year, Pope Francis has urged thousands of gathered worshippers in Vatican City to absolve themselves of trolling this Lent, the season when Christians choose to go without.

The Pontiff has taken a more modern, technological approach to the traditional Ash Wednesday address to Catholics in St Peter's Square, listing Twitter abuse among the things to forego among his other recommendations.

Francis is the first Pope to take to social media, setting up his @Pontifex account in 2012, and regularly incurring the anger of some online.

He said: “We live in an atmosphere polluted by too much verbal violence, too many offensive and harmful words, which are amplified by the internet. Today, people insult each other as if they were saying ‘Good Day.’”

Lent, the 40 days preceding Easter in the Christian calendar, beginning today, “is a time to give up useless words," said the Pope.