Sermon advice from the Pope: After eight minutes, attention drops

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7 hours ago In the Universal Church, 6 reader opinions
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Meeting with Sicilian priests and bishops in the Vatican – the inhabitants of the southern Italian island with the help of the Church

Vatican City (kath.net/KAP) Pope Francis gives good advice for preaching: “Remember that after eight minutes interest wanes and people want content,” he warned Sicilian priests and bishops at a Thursday meeting at the Vatican. He does not know if they preach in such a way that people go out to buy a cigarette and then come back; Those sermons in which they talk about everything and nothing. But an idea, a feeling, an image – people move all week.

Then he himself apologized for his sermon about “gossip” that is an epidemic and destroys church and societies: “Forgive me if I preach these things that sound like First Communion – but are essential things.” Priests, bishops and monks are regularly censured at meetings to stop such “chatter”.

Francis also called on bishops and priests to get closer to their people and to exercise tenderness and tolerance. “In Sicily, priests are still seen as spiritual and moral leaders, who can also contribute to improving the island’s civic and social quality of life, supporting families, and being a point of reference for a growing youth. The expectations of the Sicilian people to priests are great and demanding. So please don’t stop in the middle way!”, appealed to the pope.

The inhabitants of the southern Italian island need the help of the Church, especially in light of unemployment, violence and the exodus of young people. “Young people find little help in their search for the meaning of life in parishes and ecclesiastical movements, and there is not always a clear divergence from past practices that were wrong and even immoral, in order to embark resolutely on the path of justice and truth to lead.”

Francis said that the Church in Sicily produced notable figures such as the blessed anti-Mafia priest Pino Buglisi, but there were also criminal clergymen. But he also praised Sicily for its hospitality to immigrants and refugees.

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Readers’ opinions

Lamb 2 hours ago

It depends on the content

With our Bishop (Rothenburg) I came out after a few sentences, mostly from the same climactic harp or other social media.
I am often with a priest in the church (from Africa), often preaching longer and always fully engaged, because you can take so much with you.

By the way, the lectures are also 45 minutes long and my fellow students are fully involved here – despite the mandatory teaching – if the content is good and credible. You can literally hear the snoring of the babblebags.


1
Dalit 5 hours ago

grandmother

This discourse also dealt with liturgical clothing: Sicilian priests should not wear the robes “which grandmother has already worn”.


1
a little faith 5 hours ago

Unfortunately, some clergy can use some advice for good sermons very well. How often do you have to listen to long, meaningless speeches? Or even worse (which is unusual for us lately): secular sermons by women in chasubles.


1
Seeker2000 5 hours ago

This is something to think about

– “Remember that after eight minutes, attention wanes and people miss the content”:
* Well, I would appreciate if there was content from the first minute and not just after 8 minutes, because then until the last one noticed the void was spreading.

– In Sicily, priests are still considered spiritual and moral leaders:
* Congratulations not here!

People who can also contribute to improving the quality of the island’s civic and social life:
* Given the quality of the German Church, there is no need to hope for that.

Sicily’s expectations of priests are high and demanding:
– The German population is already less demanding. They no longer expect anything from sponsors.

What would your PF in D say about speech and behavior? That’s right – nothing! Nobody listens anyway because the intro will be longer than 8 minutes and then people disappear…


3
SCHLEGL 5 hours ago

@spirit

Now, as a priest after 47 years of service and 42 years of service as a high school teacher, I’d like to share a few notes with you.
People’s ability to focus has decreased dramatically in recent decades due to media overload. That’s why most radio news is reduced to 5 minutes. Every teacher knows (hopefully) that they have to change the method after 10 minutes so that the students remain attentive.
Ideally, the sermon should end after 10 minutes, and it could be shorter. With my sermon, university professor Dr. Bruno Dreyer, you heard the sentence: “You can preach about everything, only no more than 10 minutes!”


1
spirit 6 hours ago

cues tips!

Assuming the sermon isn’t attractive, 8 minutes is a long time… The real sermon advice would be how to talk and explain in an engaging way – with love and empathy, for example – and then time would be a secondary factor. But objective work appears to be secondary to official work in the Pope’s view.


3

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