Stop texting during mealtimes, pope tells youngsters

It's the start of war because there is no dialogue, says

Afp February 17, 2017
Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with students and teachers of Roma Tre University in Rome on February 17, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis told youngsters Friday to get off their phones during family meals, warning that the death of face-to-face conversations can have dire consequences for society, even resulting in wars.

"When we're at the table, when we are speaking to others on our telephones, it's the start of war because there is no dialogue," the pope said during an improvised speech at the "Roma Tre" public university.

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The 80-year old also chastised today's juniors for their manners, accusing them of swapping a cheery "good morning" for an "anonymous 'ciao ciao'" and saying it appeared standard in today's society for people to "insult" strangers.

"We need to lower the tone a bit, speak less and listen more," he said, adding that "dialogue which brings hearts closer together" is "a medicine against violence".