Cardinal says using liturgy apps ‘desacralises’ prayer

He’s not just any ol’ Cardinal but THE cardinal charged with safeguarding liturgy and the discipline of the sacraments, and he doesn’t like mixing cell phones and prayer.

In a talk given in Rome last month, Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, said that while he appreciates the convenience of using a cell phone or tablet to read the Divine Office, for example…

“it is not worthy: it desacralises prayer…These apparatuses are not instruments consecrated and reserved to God, but we use them for God and also for profane things! Electronic devices must be turned off, or better still they can be left behind at home when we come to worship God.”

Read the report on his talk here.

Here’s someone who disagrees with the Cardinal.

Your thoughts?

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Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications which included 20 years in radio broadcasting including news director. She holds degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. In 2016 she authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York. Pope Francis granted that title in 2017. Research on the basilica formed the basis of her history book, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of the history book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website,, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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3 Comments on “Cardinal says using liturgy apps ‘desacralises’ prayer”

  1. Steve Botsford
    October 12, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    With all due respect, I have to disagree with Robert Cardinal Sarah’s conclusion about the use of technology (devices) for prayer. While I do to agree that devices can be used for both good and bad, it makes me wonder why he does not suggest that we do not use paper because of some offensive things that can be printed on it. If anything can be used for good or bad why not use it for good? Does that not better serve the purpose of promoting God’s kingdom? Unfortunately, I feel that this is another example of dualistic thinking. Either something is good or bad. The reality is it that it’s up to us to make the difference as to which one that will be.

    • October 12, 2017 at 11:33 am #

      My personal jury is still out on the use of devices during liturgical prayer. Concerning what Card. Sarah said, he is not speaking of something being used for good or bad, but rather something that is sacred vs. profane. “Sacred” indicates that which is set apart for God and “profane” that which is of the world. For example, the vessels used at Mass, such as a chalice, are not okay to use because they were specifically made for that but because they were consecrated for such use. Without their being consecrated they would be profane, still good and wonderful to use for drinking wine, but not sacred and reserved for the Precious Blood.

  2. October 12, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    Does he feel the same about about all electronic books, including electronic Bibles? What about audio books? What if someone had a separate device only for electronic sacred books?

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