The church has been filled with chatter, but not for the Lord. Father Michele Madonna, annoyed by the constant disruptions of his sermons during Mass, recently installed a cellphone jamming device to block mobile phone usage during church service.
Taking action to cease the endless beeping and buzzing of incoming calls and texts, the priest hired an engineer to setup the device at the Santa Maria di Montesanto Church in Naples, Italy. Prior to installing the device, he asked the local police for permission. They approved his request.
“I had put signs up asking people to switch off their phones after having services disrupted,” Father Madonna explains. “What really annoyed me is that when it first started people would switch off their phones in embarrassment. Now they are cupping their hands over the receiver and carrying on talking.”
Local businesses near the church have asked Father Madonna to remove the device because it is causing their credit card machines to malfunction.
“For a number of months, we have had problems with debit cards, which go haywire, as do tablets and cellular phones," said one storeowner.
Father Madonna denies that the glitches are his doing.
“I had the prosecutor's office process my request to use the device that I bought in a specialized shop," said the priest. "It works exclusively within the 40 square meters of the church."