Don’t let gadgets take over, says Pope (before going on Twitter)


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The Independent Online

Just two weeks after picking up an iPad and sending his first tweet, Pope Benedict XVI has called on Christians to find more time for God in a world increasingly dominated by gadgets.

“The faster we can move, the more efficient our time-saving appliances become, the less time we have. And God? The question of God never  seems urgent. Our time is already completely full,” he said in his Christmas Eve address at St Peter’s Basilica  in Rome.

But just hours after his plea, the Pope seemed to contradict his own advice, taking to Twitter in the early hours of Christmas morning to write: “What family Christmas tradition from your childhood do you still remember? The cribs that we built in our home gave me much pleasure. We added figures each year and used moss for decoration.”

The 85-year-old was back on more traditional ground yesterday with his Christmas message to the world from St Peter’s Square, in which he highlighted what he described as “terrorism” being wrought against Christians in Syria, Nigeria and Mali.

“May peace spring up for the people of Syria, deeply wounded and divided by a conflict which does not spare  even the defenceless and reaps innocent victims,” he said. “May the birth of Christ favour the return of peace in Mali and that of concord in Nigeria, where savage acts of terrorism continue to reap victims, particularly  among Christians.”

In Nigeria, the Islamist sect Boko Haram has killed hundreds in its  campaign to impose sharia law in  the north of the country, targeting  a number of churches. In Mali, a mix of Islamists with links to al-Qa’ida  have occupied the country’s north since April, destroying much of the  region’s religious heritage. They  have also carried out amputations  to help to impose strict Islamic law  on a population that has practised  a more moderate form of Islam  for centuries.