The Catholic Church are urging believers to give up text messaging for Lent as well as abstain from other forms of virtual entertainment such as TV, Facebook, and iPods.
The Bishop of Modena, Benito Cocchi, said that ‘No SMS for Lent’ was an ideal way for ‘young people to detox from the virtual world and get back in touch with themselves.’
Italian laity and clergy have reacted cautiously to the proposals. Some say abstinence should be a personal matter, and others say that people who need technology to work shouldn’t be asked to do without.
The editor of the Vatican’s official newspaper Osservatore Romano said,
Text messages are an instrument and so by their neutral nature, they cannot be good or bad.
It all depends on how you use them. If text messages are a proper way of communicating I don’t see why we should deprive ourselves of them on Good Friday or any other day.