A few weeks ago the Pope announced he would nick away at your time in purgatory if you followed him on Twitter. The Pope granted plenary indulgences to everyone who attended Catholic World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro last month, but for those who couldn’t afford the flight to Brazil he also grant indulgences to those who watched the events via radio, television, and social media.
Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, was quick to point out that not all social media actions are create equal:
“You don’t obtain an indulgence like you get a coffee from a vending machine. It’s not enough just to watch a Mass online or follow Pope Francis via live streaming on your iPad or by connecting to Pope2You.net. These are just devices. What really counts is that the Tweet that the Pope will send from Brazil or the photos from World Youth Day produce genuine spiritual fruit in the heart of the person.”
Books and speeches have been credited with changing the world, inspiring millions, and improving lives. Can a few 140 character tweets do the same?