Vatican Offers Indulgences in Exchange for Following Pope Francis on Twitter

Call it “Vatican 3”, call it the Catholic church keeping up with the times, call it the newest service offered via social media. Call it what you will, it’s a novel twist. The Vatican is offering indulgences to people who follow Pope Francis on Twitter. That’s right, Papal tweets can get you indulgences.

In case you are not familiar with the concept of ‘indulgences’ as the term applies to the Catholic church, the granting of an indulgence essentially reduces or removes the amount of time that you will have to spend in purgatory due to your sins. You can think of it sort of like time off for good behaviour or, in this case, time reduced for following the Pope on Twitter.

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Typically indulgences are obtained by completing some sort of faith-based task, although there was a period in history when they were being sold, resulting in scandal and the indulgences’ fall from grace for a time (this was rectified when, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “in 1567 Pope Pius V canceled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions”).




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

In these modern times, indulgences can be earned through such faith-based acts as attending the World Youth Day.

And following the Pope on Twitter.

Given this, we also have to assume that Pope Francis is the Mayor of Vatican City.


You can follow the Pope on Twitter here.

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2 Replies to “Vatican Offers Indulgences in Exchange for Following Pope Francis on Twitter”

  1. The Pope posts inspiring messages, news about the Catholic church, etc. This helps to bring Catholics in closer relationship to the church. An indulgence does not specifically reduce time spent in purgatory. It applies the grace earned by those who performed penances in earlier times. Purgatory is a place/time where we learn how/what our time on earth did for us and others.

  2. As soon as the coin (tweet) in the coffer (on the Twitter) rings (tweets), the soul from purgatory springs.

    And they wonder why people are losing their faith….

    Me, I’m becoming a Jedi.
    Less “science fictiony” than Christianity!

    But I honestly think it will work with the under 25 crowd. Now he needs a Facebook account. And a blog, and a Tumblr, too.


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