Remember the papal indulgences that pushed Martin Luther into starting a new Christian concession back in the 16th century? Well, what would Luther say to the Vatican’s latest offer of indulgences—meaning divine forgiveness—to followers of Pope Francis’ tweets.
The Church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics will have to spend in purgatory after confessing and been absolved of their sins. Good deeds also merit indulgences, and good deeds included charitable money donations to building projects, roads and bridges conducted by the Church.
In 1567, Pope Pius V canceled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions. But Catholics who will attend the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, will also win an indulgence.
Except that not all the faithful can afford to fly to Brazil, and so the Vatican’s sacred apostolic penitentiary—the court which handles the forgiveness of sins—has extended the sin forgiveness to those who will follow the “rites and pious exercises” of the event on television, radio and through social media, reports The Guardian.
“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.”