Catholic priests have been urged to pump up their sermons and make them more exciting – by a Vatican Cardinal who advocates the use of Twitter and social media.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi has claimed that pulpit preaching has become so boring it is almost ‘irrelevant’ in the internet age.

The Vatican based Cardinal has urged priests to jazz up their ‘formulaic and boring’ sermons in a bid to move with the times.

The Holy See’s unofficial Minister for Culture, Cardinal Ravasi told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that priests need to smarten up their act.

“The advent of televised and computerised information requires us to be compelling and trenchant, to cut to the heart of the matter, resort to narratives and colour,” said Cardinal Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, at a seminar in Rome.

“Too many priests employ theological language that is grey, dull and flavourless. Instead they should spice up their sermons with graphic stories contained in the Bible which use much more forceful imagery.

“The Bible is crowded with stories, symbols and images.”

The outspoken Cardinal also advocates the use of Twitter and social networking sites by Catholic priests.

He added: “We need to remember that communicating faith doesn’t just take place through sermons. It can be achieved through the 140 characters of a Twitter message.

“Whether they like it or not, priests in the pulpit should be aware that their congregations are the children of television and the internet.”