An article in the UK Guardian declared that Pope Francis has offered indulgences to those who follow the upcoming World Youth Day on social media sites such as Twitter! here is an excerpt from the article:
In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis’ tweets.
The church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.
The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.
But a senior Vatican official warned web-surfing Catholics that indulgences still required a dose of old-fashioned faith, and that paradise was not just a few mouse clicks away.
“You can’t obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Indulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks – such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate’s house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.
But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.
Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican’s sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the “rites and pious exercises” of the event on television, radio and through social media.
“That includes following Twitter,” said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis’ Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. “But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet.” [Tom Kington in Rome, The Guardian,
USA Today has a nifty title to their article concerning the very same subject: “How you can save your soul: In 140 characters or less”
Here is an excerpt from their article:
Following Pope Francis’s Twitter feed may be good for your soul – both in this life and the next.
The spiritual leader of the Catholic Church plans to grant plenary indulgences by Twitter during the World Youth Day 2013 event, to be held July 23-28 in Brazil.
The indulgences – which can reduce the time a soul spends in purgatory – will be available to Francis’s nearly 2.7 million Twitter followers – if they tune in the world to World Youth Day broadcasts or take other spiritual actions. To get an indulgence, a Catholic must have already had their sins absolved by a priest.
Pope Francis issued a decree about indulgences and social media on July 9, according to the Rome-based Zenit news organization, which covers the Vatican.
Bob Smietana, USA Today, July 17, 2013
As a former Roman Catholic, I used to believe Rome’s heretical teaching about Purgatory until the Lord Jesus Christ saved my soul, and showed me that there was NO SUCH PLACE as Purgatory. Many people thought that Roman Catholic Indulgences were a thing of the past from the Middle Ages, but as you can see they are still alive and well in the church of Rome.