Thousands of Catholic faithfuls can now afford a smile every time they log onto Twitter, expecting not just to connect with friends and follow trending topics and news across the world but a sweet tweet of forgiveness from Pope Francis I (@Pontifex).
According to the the Vatican’s Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary publication, Pope Francis I will be giving “plenary indulgences” (the forgiveness of sins and a special act that is said to reduce time in purgatory). on social media, something that was done in person, fearfully.
The Guardian reports “the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis‘ tweets. Indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.
The indulgence however, is not to be made fun of but requires same old faith and devotion by the faithfuls. The Twitter forgiveness stand is only during the week-long Catholic World Youth Day, which is set for Rio de Janeiro July 22.
Faithful’s following event online or live TV or radio can ask for the indulgence as long as they are following the event and are “truly penitent and contrite” and in “requisite devotion”.
According to the Guardian, apart from Twitter, the Vatican also has an online news portal supported by an app, a Facebook page, and it plans to use the online social networking site Pinterest.