Follow Pope on Twitter, Get Time Off Purgatory Stay

Vatican offers 'indulgences' for social media use during Catholic World Youth Day

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2013 11:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're a Catholic due to spend some time in purgatory before heading on up to heaven, we have good news for you: You can shorten the length of time you have to spend there just by following Pope Francis on Twitter, the Guardian reports. A papal court has announced it will grant "indulgences," which reduce purgatory time, to Catholics who attend Catholic World Youth Day. But if you can't make it to Rio de Janeiro for the event, which begins Monday, the court says that following the "rites and pious exercises" on TV, radio, or online will serve as an acceptable stand-in.

"That includes following Twitter," says a source at the sacred apostolic penitentiary, the papal court in charge of the forgiveness of sins. But there's work involved. "You must be following the events live," continued the source. "It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the Internet." And you must have already confessed your sins and be "truly penitent and contrite," the penitentiary warned in its decree on the matter. You must also pray with "requisite devotion" while following the Rio events. Follow Francis here.

Pope Francis waves to faithful upon his arrival at the Pontiff's residence of  Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Sunday July 14, 2013.
Pope Francis waves to faithful upon his arrival at the Pontiff's residence of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Sunday July 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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