(NEW YORK) — Who says you’re wasting time on Twitter? The Vatican is offering Catholics a chance to further seek contrition for their sins by following along with church events on social media, including Pope Francis’ Twitter account.
With Catholic World Youth Day kicking off next week in Rio de Janeiro, the Vatican has issued a decree inviting followers to take part in the week-long event. Realizing that not all Catholics can afford to fly to Brazil, the decree has stated that those who keep tabs on the week-long event live can earn “Plenary Indulgence” or partial forgiveness for sinners seeking to purify themselves.
For Catholics looking to knock time off their stay in purgatory it won’t be as easy as remembering their handle and password, however. Indulgences are granted only after having already confessed to and been absolved of their sins.
Back in medieval times, Indulgences were infamously garnered through payments to the church. Today they are more commonly associated with completing specific good works. In the past, tuning into Catholic services on television and radio could result in partial Indulgences, options being offered for this Catholic World Youth Day event as well.
The Catholic Church is not aiming to trend, or garner more retweets with the inclusion of social media as a means of granting Indulgence, but instead looks to “produce authentic spiritual fruit in the hearts of everyone,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli told Italian news outlet Corriere della Sera.
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