VIENNA (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI is providing moral support to Austrian Catholics during Lent with an encouraging SMS on their mobile phones.
Faithful who sign up for the new SMS service, launched Wednesday by the Roman Catholic Church in Austria, will receive daily quotes from the Church leader during the 40 days of Lent to help them survive the traditional fasting period leading up to Easter.
The quotes, in German, range from the inspirational -- "The further development and dignity of a society depends on those people who do more than their duty" -- to the more obscure: "Resignation in the face of truth is, I am convinced, at the core of the crisis in the West and in Europe."
The phrases stem from speeches and sermons given by the pope during a visit to Austria in September last year.
"We hope via this creative and discreet mode of communication to reach younger people," a Church spokesman said.
Those interested can sign up to the service for free by sending an SMS with the word "Papst," the German word for Pope, to the Austrian mobile number 0664 660 6651.
A similar SMS service with quotes by Benedict XVI was set up in the run-up to his visit late last year.
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