[A] Vatican court has ruled that following Pope Francis online and on Twitter can earn believers time off from their sentence to purgatory for confessed and forgiven sins.
The granting of “indulgences” to those who use the Internet to take part in faraway religious gatherings was floated by the pope in a June 3 meeting with members of the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, one of three tribunals of the Roman Curia that administers church business.
Three weeks later, the tribunal confirmed in a decree that “the faithful who are legitimately impeded [from attending events in person] can obtain the plenary indulgence if ... they follow the same rites and pious exercises ... by the new means of social communication.”
The little-noticed decree took on new meaning this week as Vatican officials prepared for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, a Catholic festival to which the pope will travel, leading the July 23-28 series of sermons, prayers and celebrations.
The newspaper, which is collaborating with the Pope2You.net site, also consulted Father Paolo Padrini, a respected scholar of digital communications dubbed the “iPriest,” on the significance of the online offer of purgatory reprieve.
“Imagine your computer is a well-laden table where you can find tweets from Pope Francis, videos on YouTube, clips on Corriere.it and Facebook postings from your friend in Brazil,” Padrini said. “That is the dinner that will nourish your spirit. Sharing, acting in unison, despite the obstacle of distance. But it will still be real participation and that is why you will obtain the indulgence. Above all because your click will have come from the heart." - SourceI didn't say anything.
Fr. James "Poodle" Martin, S.J. has the straight story on all of this - I knew there had to be a better explanation:
Here were the tantalizingly weird headlines: “Follow pope online, get to heaven sooner - Facebook likes don't count.” “Cut your time in purgatory by following pope on Twitter.” And, worst of all, from Slate: “Pope now offering indulgences in exchange for Twitter followers.”
Similar headlines popped up on more than 190 news sources on Wednesday.
Ha ha. Is the Catholic Church offering time off in hell– or purgatory, depending on the website - just for checking your Twitter feed every few hours? Is the church really that dumb? And here I thought Pope Francis was cool, or as Esquire recently termed him, “awesome.”
This is (another) case of how the media misunderstands and misreports a story from “The Vatican.”
Here’s how it seemed to have happened. - Read the rest here.See - it takes a Jesuit.
"Waddya mean, I'm not eligible?"