27/03/2016 9:45 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

The Church At Easter Shows What 'Repentance Is Always About': Bob Maguire

Fairfax/Justin McManus

Beloved "larrikin priest" Bob Maguire has used Easter Sunday to urge Australians to get more involved in their local communities and take a break from social media.

Speaking on Sunday, the Melbourne-based priest said increasing social media was contributing to a climate of fear in society and a loss of sense of community.

"When we come across people who appear to be so different from our friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter, well then we're a bit nervous about them and we tend to trash people now," Maguire told ABC television.

"We're a bit angry, we're a bit frightened and therefore become angry about people who are strangers.

"That's why we're building the walls and that's why Donald Trump is going to be a great entertainer until the crunch of the election because he's pressing the fear button ... before long we're frightened even of one another."

Maguire's comments come as millions of people across Australia and around the world attend church services on Easter Sunday -- one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar.

In Rome, Pope Francis marked the holy occasion by addressing worshippers and washing the feet of a number of refugees.

Maguire said the church was still relevant in today's fast-paced world and still had important lessons to teach.

"The Church has a great place," he said. "It has to show what repentance is always about."

He had one key message for Australians this Easter.

"Well, for a start ... you're alive so rejoice and be glad. A lot of people didn't wake up this morning and I think people have got to stop being afraid of death."

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