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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis warns priests to avoid long, boring homilies: "They are a disaster"

The Vatican did not release the images of Pope Francis' meeting where he described the homilies of some priests as "a disaster."

During a meeting with students in a liturgy course, the Pope asked priests to be careful with their homilies, without turning them into philosophy classes and to keep them brief.

This is not the first time Pope Francis has said something like this. But it is the first time he used the word "disaster."

Your words should be simple. Words that everyone can understand. Don't give long homilies.

Your homilies should not be boring. Your homilies should reach people's hearts, because they come from your heart.

A professor I had would say that a homily should have internal coherence: an idea, an image and an emotional effect, so that people go home with an idea, an image and something that moved their heart. FLASH Allow me this one meanness. The applause was started by the nuns, who are victims of our homilies.

But Pope Francis has said this advice is not for priests in situations where it is difficult to attend Mass. For example, in some parts of the world, families have to travel for hours or days to receive the Eucharist. In those cases, the Mass is often more intense and the homilies longer than usual.