In our epoch, to decisively do away with phone for a few minutes, is seemingly comparable to the mounting of the cross by the eternal Galilean. But in humble sincerity, what at all is it that the phone can not wait in the mission house or in a safe sacristy/place till _ite missa est_ ?
Without prejudice to its ‘necessity’, but frightened by how the worrying trend negatively impacts proper human relationships, Pope Francis rightly and justly bemoaned the migration of technological abuse to sacred space, especially by clerics during liturgical celebrations. On November 8 2017, the Pope addressed the challenge as:
_Very ugly thing; it makes me very sad when I celebrate mass here in the piazza or in the basilica, and I see so many cell phones held up… Not only by the lay faithful, but also by some priests and even bishops… The mass is not a show. So remember, no cell phones!_
Thus, the man who is materially recognised by Forbes (2018) as the 6th most powerful person in the world, reaffirms that the Mass is not even about him (the celebrant) but the Christ; who privileged us out of the Faithful to have a share in his Priesthood. In fact, if we are rightly dissuaded from a casual usage of phones in important meetings, no serious cultic encounter will entertain its abuse, and certainly not the Mass; the sacrifice without which we are not.
Referring to the opening dialogue to the Anaphora, the Pope asserted that in Mass, you are to _’lift up your hearts, not your cell phones to take pictures…’_ Having said this;
-Does a celebrating priest, at least superficially, not directly contribute to a possible metamorphosis of liturgical celebrations to a mere opera if, from the sanctuary for instance, he comfortably chats and play games with his phone, take photos from the sanctuary, and even get the weired courage to pass his phone to an altar server to take pictures when mass is ongoing?
-How do we convince an ‘ignorant’ spectator (especially the often high non-catholics inflow during ritual liturgies like weddings, ordinations, and funerals) about the dignity and the mysterious nature of the Mass which we celebrate from the sense of duty, and not merely according to the sense of duty (cf. Immanuel Kant, _Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals_ )? Thus, how do we express the Reality we encounter, experience, communicate, and most importantly, act _in persona Christi_ amidst such technological abuse?
-And even with already made Catholics who truly believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic celebration, how do we help sustain and mature their faith with such seeming insignificant, but deeply oxymoronic act in matters of faith?
-Do we consider that by our actions and inactions at Mass, we may (consciously or unconsciously) catechize to construct or deconstruct? Largely subscribing to the high principle of infinite regress, a child who is often sent by a father to buy alcohol and sees him drink same may easily turn up as a sot! Hence, the SC (cf. 33, 59) emphasizes that _although the sacred liturgy is meant to sanctify men, to build up the body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God; THEY ALSO INSTRUCT BECAUSE THEY ARE SIGNS._
So, even if we ‘charitably’ seek to facilitate the temporal businesses of people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, should it be at the risk of ‘desecrating’ the ‘Eternal Business’ – the Mass?
At least for the survival of the ‘little’ faith left in the fabric of society, we should not by our actions and/or inactions subscribe (consciously or unconsciously) to Friedrich Nietzsche’s position ( _The Gay Science,_ 1882) that confusingly proclaimed God dead. Thus, if He isn’t dead, we should not ‘murder’ Him, and even if He is, necessarily, we shouldn’t burry him!
Source: Fr. Samuel Atta Okyere