A priest in the Philippines has been reprimanded by church leaders for his creative idea to get worshipers moving during a Christmas service: using a hoverboard.
On Christmas Eve, the priest, who hasn’t been named, used the toy to glide in and out of rows of churchgoers while singing a Christmas song in English and Tagalog, which was caught on camera and has since gone viral.
His parishioners seemed to enjoy the performance, with many taking photos and video.
His bosses, though, weren’t so pleased — he has been reprimanded by church leaders, who criticized his use of what might have been an early present.
“Last December 24, 2015, before the final blessing of the Christmas eve mass, as a way of greeting his parishioners, the priest sang a Christmas song, while going around the nave standing on a hoverboard,” said a statement from the Diocese of San Pablo in Laguna, southeast of the capital Manila.
That was wrong. The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence… Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people.”
The church didn’t respond to CNN calls for comment.
It went on to say that the priest had seen the error of his ways and “promised that it will not happen again.”
He “will be out of the parish” for a while and will reflect on his actions, the statement read, but didn’t say he was suspended or placed on mandatory leave.
Others weren’t so harsh, and offered Facebook comments of support.
“I am sure the priest meant no disrespect,” one said. “He was, no doubt, trying to be ‘relevant’ and establish a bond with the young. It was an error in judgment.”
Danger on two wheels?
The devices — which, disappointingly, do not actually hover, unlike their “Back to the Future II” namesake — have been popular Christmas gifts.
However, safety concerns also surround the self-balancing, gyroscope-enabled two-wheeled scooters.
The United States has seen a spike in hoverboard-related injuries and there’s been reports of at least 16 hoverboard fires in 12 states. They’reillegal in the UK and banned in New York.