Here’s all the proof you need that we are officially entrenched in the digital age: Pope Francis will be giving out plenary indulgences, which grant pardon from punishment due to absolved sins, to his followers on Twitter in time for the World Youth Festival, July 23-38 in Rio de Janeiro.
Catholics must generally attend limited services at the Vatican held by the Pope to receive such indulgences. Thanks to Twitter, a holy blessing is just one 140-character message away.
Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, clarified to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera,
“You don’t obtain an indulgence like you get a coffee from a vending machine. It’s not enough just to watch a Mass online or follow Pope Francis via live streaming on your iPad…. What really counts is that the Tweet that the Pope will send from Brazil… [produces] genuine spiritual fruit in the heart of the person.”
The Vatican’s sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, also said that getting an indulgence would hinge on the beneficiary having previously confessed and being “truly penitent and contrite.” So it won’t be a forgiveness free-for-all.
Follow the events live to participate.
Pope Francis, the second pope ever to have a Twitter account, has more than 2.6 million followers.
(Pope Francis image via ABC)