Pope Francis warns Croke Park crowd of social media dangers
POPE Francis has used a speech at Dublin's Croke Park to warn of the risks involved in the use of social media.
More than 80,000 people heard the Pontiff say families should question whether they need to cut down on the time they spend using technology and instead spend more quality time with each other.
The Pope said social media can serve to build a network of friendships and solidarity, but he said it should only be used in moderation.
He said it was important that social media "never becomes a threat to the real life relationships by imprisoning us in a virtual reality and isolating us from the very real relationships that challenge us to grow.
"When you use social media too much you go into a sort of an orbit when, at the dinner table, instead of talking to each other within the family, each of you uses his phone to connect with the outside world," the Pope said.
- Church abuse survivors welcome 'cordial' meeting with Pope Francis
- Anti-clerical abuse protests held during Pope's visit
- Pope thrills Dublin crowds during Popemobile tour
- Leo Varadkar urges Pope to listen to abuse victims
- Pope Francis prays for Irish victims of abuse
- Pope Francis 'pained and shamed' by Church's clerical abuse failure?
- Belfast couple 'asked Pope to pray for peace in the north'
- Michael D Higgins tells Pope of anger felt by clerical abuse victims
- Pope Francis begins Irish visit
"You go into an orbit. This is dangerous. Why? Because it takes away the completeness of the family and leads you to, takes us to a fuzzy life without any substance."
Tonight's concert-type event was held to mark the end of the World Meeting of Families 2018, including performances by Andrea Bocelli, The Riverdance Troupe, Nathan Carter, Dana Masters and Daniel O'Donnell.
Pope Francis delivered an address and heard five testimonies by families from the Republic, Canada, India, Iraq, and Africa about the importance of family in the modern age.
The Pope opened his address by saying "Dia Daoibh" - Irish for good evening.
In a light-hearted moment during proceedings, Francis consented to a selfie with a teenager from the Travelling community.
Rita Coyne from Dublin watched the show along with her friend Mary Byrne, and said she was uplifted by the amount of young people involved.
"It's brilliant, it's very different, it's very beautiful, so different from what I expected, I found it very joyful.
"The young people involved, the colours and the dancers have been super.
"It's been absolutely lovely."
The selection of themes throughout the night reflected the priorities in the ministry of Pope Francis, including homelessness, migrants and refugees and care for our common home.
Nuns from the Sisters of Nazareth, Sister Francis Kelly and Sister Celine came to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families and say the concert was the perfect end to an excellent week.
"We're having a fantastic time, we're enjoying every minute of it.
"The atmosphere is fantastic, we really enjoyed Nathan Carter, he was excellent.
"The young people have been so talented.
"We had a stand at the World Meeting of Families and everyone has taken a real interest in the work we do, we have care homes all over the UK and Ireland, and people have been so good to us, really interested and friendly.
"The event has really brought people together."
The celebration of family life heard a number of tributes and testimonials about the importance of prioritising the role of families especially with young children.
The Traynor family, who had travelled to Croke Park from Monaghan on Saturday came in a 15-strong group.
"Fifteen of us all travelled up together just for today, we've brought along all of our kids, and some tea and sandwiches.
"We really enjoyed the concert, it's really different, and it's nice and fast moving, there's not too long a wait between each act.
"It's quite lighthearted, it's a lot more informal than I thought it would be.
"We loved Sean Keane, he was very good.
"We're to drive back to Monaghan tonight, but it was well worth the journey.
"It's been a great night, great for the kids."
The event finished with an address from Pope Francis, where he talked about the importance of family in the age of social media.