Pope urges faithful to give up trolling on social media for Lent
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Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope seeks to prevent Mafia from using Virgin Mary imagery Pope: No one should seek to profit from pandemic Priest tapped to be bishop by Pope Francis resigns after sexual abuse probe MORE is encouraging people to give up internet trolling and insulting others on social media for Lent.

Christians traditionally give up something like chocolate during the 40-day period, but the pope told his audience of tens of thousands in St. Peter’s Square on Ash Wednesday that they should consider focusing on their online habits, Reuters reported

Lent “is a time to give up useless words, gossip, rumors, tittle-tattle and speak to God on a first name basis,” he said in reportedly partially improvised comments. 

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

Christians focus on repentance and fasting in the period leading up to Easter as a representation of the biblical account of Jesus fasting for 40 days in the wilderness.

The pope’s comments come as ultraconservative websites slam him for his more liberal stances than past Catholic leaders and as his supporters and opponents argue on social media, Reuters noted.