Clicking becomes involuntary to order food, buy shoes, or book tickets. Pope Francis now suggests that we push to pray.
The ‘Click to Pray’ app, part of the Pope’s global prayer network, is relaunching to allow more believers to ‘link their prayers to the entire world’.
The 84-year-old Pope is himself a follower of social networks, which he sees as “an opportunity to promote meetings with others.” He has 19 million subscribers on Twitter and 8.3 million on Instagram.
France Press agency
The prayer app first appeared in 2016, which has been downloaded by more than 2.5 million people, and offers daily prayers and messages from the Pope, while allowing its users to send prayers to each other.
Officials said Click to Pray 2.0 will officially launch on November 1 after a beta period with religious men and women around the world.
The new version, available in seven languages, offers a more personalized presentation, notably by allowing its users to set up an agenda for prayer planning, but also details of specific prayers and links to external content such as Tweet with God, another part of the project by the Pope’s Global Prayer Network.
“The idea is to be able to use it and give people a tool for prayer, to be in company,” Monsignor Lucio Ruiz, secretary of the Ministry of Communications, explained to AFP.
Although church attendance is constantly declining, Ruiz says the app is “not a substitute for anything else.” “The church should be where the people are,” he said.
On Tuesday, the homepage had a list of prayers from around the world, with headlines like “Pray for My Daughter Please,” “Pray for My Sick Mother” and even “For My Career.”
After creating an account, the user can organize the prayer calendar, choose the content, and create alerts to remind him of the prayer time during the day.
Thus an order is made to the dawn prayer: “With Jesus in the morning – start your day,” while the evening prayer offers “contemplation and rest.”
France Press agency
The new version of the application was launched in conjunction with the opening of the Synod of Religious Leaders on the topic “Communion, Participation and Mission”, which is scheduled to run until 2023.
In addition to social networks, the Vatican has several traditional media to spread the Church’s message to 1.3 billion Catholics around the world, including the Holy See’s official website, a daily newspaper and a radio station.
On Tuesday, in the front yard of St Peter’s Basilica, none of the European visitors interviewed by AFP had heard of this request.
In the Google Play Store, where the app has a 5-star rating, its users mentioned some bugs, including the need to identify themselves frequently. One user posted a sarcastic comment about it: “God knows who I am, so why should I sympathize with the Pope?”
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”