Just before Advent, a fiery Pope Francis chastised those who spend Mass talking to others, looking at their phone or even taking pictures during papal liturgies, saying these are distractions that take focus away from the “heart of the Church,” which is the Eucharist. (I would add not only for the user, but those sitting next to them.)
“The Mass is not a show: it is to go to meet the passion and resurrection of the Lord. The Lord is here with us, present. Many times we go there, we look at things and chat among ourselves while the priest celebrates the Eucharist... But it is the Lord!”
In particular, Pope Francis condemned the use of cell phones to take photos at papal Masses. At one point during the Mass the priest says, “we lift up our hearts,” he said. “He does not say, ‘We lift up our phones to take photographs!’”
“It’s a bad thing! And I tell you that it gives me so much sadness when I celebrate here in the Piazza or Basilica and I see so many raised cellphones, not just of the faithful, even of some priests and even bishops.”
Pope Francis said the Eucharist would be the new focus of his weekly catechesis for the year, because “it is fundamental for us Christians to understand well the value and meaning of the Holy Mass to live more and more fully our relationship with God.”
In the Eucharist we rediscover, through our senses, what is essential, he said. Just as the Apostle Thomas asked to see and touch the wounds of Jesus after His resurrection, we need the same thing: “to see Him and touch Him to be able to recognize Him.”
In this way, the Sacraments meet this very "human need" of ours, he said. And in the Eucharist, in particular, we find a privileged way to meet God and his love.
He prays everyone will rediscover the beauty "hidden in the Eucharistic celebration, and which, when revealed, gives a full meaning to the life of everyone.”