Reportedly, this is not satire: Vatican says pope’s Twitter followers get time off purgatory


From all I can gather, THIS STORY is the real deal:

In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis’ tweets.

The church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.

The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.

But a senior Vatican official warned web-surfing Catholics that indulgences still required a dose of old-fashioned faith, and that paradise was not just a few mouse clicks away.

“You can’t obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Indulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks – such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate’s house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.

But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.




  1. monkey

    A friend of mine posted this today on his FB feed and I thought it belonged on the Onion. But, unless the Guardian was duped, it seems legit. And, considering the fantaslyland that the Catholic Church, and really all organized religion is, it’s most likely the real deal.

    Now excuse me while I go drink the blood of Christ and eat his flesh.

  2. Robert

    “Now excuse me while I go drink the blood of Christ and eat his flesh.”

    Is it any wonder where people like Jeffrey Dahmer types get their ideas for consuming their victims? And yet we as a society expect our elected representatives and people we hold in high esteem, to believe such things as taking communion makes us closer to this God person that lives in the clouds. I wonder if this God person has seen the “cloud” where all of our internet data is going to be stored? Maybe they’re neighbors?

    Robert, a former practicing Catholic of which I’m sure there are many.

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