A diocese has criticised one of its priests after a video of him riding a hoverboard at the end of Mass went viral.
The priest was captured on video riding around his church on a hoverboard shortly before the final blessing of the traditional Christmas Eve Mass, singing a Christmas song. The hoverboard is lit from beneath by purple lights. Purple is the liturgical colour for Advent. The priest is wearing white vestments, the colour for Christmas.
The San Pablo diocese in the Philippines said today: "That was wrong. The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence. It is the Memorial of the Lord's Sacrifice. It is the source and summit of Christian life. It is the Church's highest form of worship. Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously intrpduce something to get the attention of the people."
In the statement, the diocese said the priest had promised not to do it again and will be taking time to reflect on tne event.
"This calls for a reparation! Instead, pray a rosary for this priest and attend a traditional Latin Mass!" Novus Ordo Insider posted on Facebook.
One commenter defended the priest, saying: "Witnesses place the events shown here as after the Mass and was this Priest's Christmas Gift to his parishioners."
Another also said: "Isn't it ironic when everyone in the comments are trying to be 'righteous' and judgmental based only on the video? We didn't even witness it. One of the people here said this was done after the mass and obviously he was singing a song that is not usually a song during the holy eucharist and its like a gift to the parishioners. Even [though] he is a priest, he needs to be respected because he is highly above us still! And he is just human too. That is the problem in our society we always claim to be the right one we always jump into conclusion and spiel words we aren't sure of. As Pope Francis said 'Who am I to judge?'. Who are we to judge?"
Others were more critical, however.
"Complete and total disrespect not only for Our Lord but also for the salvation of all those poor souls," said one.
"This is why the vocations are somewhat declining. They make the priesthood a joke," wrote another.
The video now has more than 75,000 views on YouTube, with thousands of both likes and dislikes. It has nearly 14 million views on the Flow Cartagena radio station page on Facebook.
The hoverboard is understood to have been a gift to the parish.
The Catholic Church in the Philippines will in 2016 host the high-profile 51st International Eucharistic Congress, attracting up 15,000 of the faithful. Pope Francis is not expected to attend but will send an envoy.
Hoverboards, based on an idea in the Back to the Future film series, took off worldwide in 2015, with many imported from China. The burgeoning industry suffered a setback after issues emerged with electrics and the online retailer Amazon demanded higher safety standards in the charging mechanisms. Many of those who had bought hoverboards online received refunds, along with instructions on how to safely dispose of the toys.