MANILA -- Members of the clergy expressed support for the call of Pope Francis against the use of smartphones inside the Church, especially during Mass.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes urged churchgoers to control themselves and refrain from using their mobile devices while attending Mass.

"As a pastor, as a bishop I find it (smartphone) very useful that we have this because anybody has it anyway. The bad one is to abuse it to use that in the wrong time, like during Mass or during religious services. They have to control themselves,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

With this, the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Missions (CBCP-ECM) noted that it is not bad to use or patronize modern technology but the people should know where to use them.

On the other hand, Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Public Affairs Committee (PAC), said the faithful should know the limitations of using smartphones. 

“Churchgoers should be responsible enough to refrain from using phones during church services," he said.

“Banning it smacks of control, which the faithful practically abhor. We wish the faithful to be mature enough to realize that using phones deviates from the objective of praying while inside the church,” he added.

It was reported that the Philippines ranks third among countries in Southeast Asia for the most number of smartphone users, wherein three out of 10 Filipinos have cellphones.

Earlier, the Holy Father said that Mass is a time for prayer and not for people to take out their camera phones. (PNA)