Bishop Francisco De Leon during Mass at the Antipolo Cathedral on May 31, 2023. CBCP NEWS

By Roy Lagarde

June 1, 2023

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop has a reminder for Catholics: Focus on God during Mass and not on your smartphone.

Bishop Francisco de Leon, now the apostolic administrator of the Antipolo diocese, urged churchgoers not to take their focus away from the Eucharist, who is Jesus Christ “present in the here and now”.

“Instead of paying attention to what is happening in the Mass, you will miss it,” De Leon said. “And by not paying attention to the present, like the Holy Mass, you will miss Him.”

He made the statement before the final blessing of the Mass presided over by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP President, on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Mother yesterday evening.

The occasion had also been designated by Pope Francis as a special day of prayer for the upcoming Synod on Synodality in the Vatican.

The pope on May 24 accepted the resignation of De Leon from the pastoral leadership of the diocese after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

He, however, will continue to serve as apostolic administrator of the diocese until Bishop Ruperto Santos, currently the bishop of Balanga, is installed as his successor.

De Leon served Antipolo for the past 16 years — nine years as auxiliary bishop and seven years as bishop.


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