Vatican offers ‘time off purgatory’ to followers of Pope Francis tweets

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Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win 'indulgences' by following World Youth Day on Twitter


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.

Written By: Tom Kington
continue to source article at guardian.co.uk

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  1. That figures, my big chance to buy my way into catholic heaven, and I’m broke. I hear that catholic heaven is much nicer than say, Protestant or Baptist heaven. I really wanted to hold out for the 50 virgin version, but I don’t think I could meet the requirements. What’s a dead guy going to do with all that action anyway.

    • In reply to #1 by fishhead:

      That figures, my big chance to buy my way into catholic heaven, and I’m broke. I hear that catholic heaven is much nicer than say, Protestant or Baptist heaven. I really wanted to hold out for the 50 virgin version, but I don’t think I could meet the requirements. What’s a dead guy going to do with…

      I’d not bother with the 50 virgins version if I were you. The oldest documents found relating to the Koran, translated by academics with knowledge of the relevant dialects and contexts of the time rather than religious fervour suggest it’s most likely grapes – not virgins. So its 50 grapes for the martyrs for Allah.

      Bit of a waste for the socially inadequate, repulsive guys blowing themselves up – may have been impossible for them to impress any women at all on Earth but lets face it anyone can treat themselves to a nice fruit salad from M&S.

      Many Medieval monasteries made their fortunes selling advance prayer services for a speedy journey through purgatory after death to wealthy folk. Sort of sin insurance. Nice to see the old traditions coming back – maybe some witch burning for the elderly to gather round when fuel prices outstrip their pensions?.

      • In reply to #9 by PG:

        At my age the grapes sound much better and less dangerous, but 50 of them might screw up my digestive tract. Oh, I forgot, I’d be dead anyway. Which brings on a new question, 50 grapes? Just kiddin’ dude, thanks!
        ..

      • In reply to #9 by PG:

        The oldest documents found relating to the Koran, translated by academics with knowledge of the relevant dialects and contexts of the time rather than religious fervour suggest it’s most likely grapes – not virgins. So its 50 grapes for the martyrs for Allah.

        I thought it was raisins?

        Anyhoo, even if it were 72 virgins, the Qur’an never mentions the gender.

  2. i am gobsmacked,how on earth do grown adults come to believe this bull? i dont claim to be a great thinker but even to a humble worker this is crazy talk that makes no sense at all.as someone who was raised a christian and forced to church until i was 16 i know of nowhere in the bible that mentions “purgatory” or of any man who can forgive “sins”.thought this pope was going to be a bit better than the last two, WRONG.seems he wants to revert to the middle ages,what next, a crusade?

    • In reply to #4 by disillusioned hippy:

      i am gobsmacked,how on earth do grown adults come to believe this bull? i dont claim to be a great thinker but even to a humble worker this is crazy talk that makes no sense at all.as someone who was raised a christian and forced to church until i was 16 i know of nowhere in the bible that mentions…

      Well, let’s take it a little at a time. We’ll burn some heretics first, then some witches, THEN we can start the Crusades.

  3. So, it seems that only the method to obtain indulgences has changed since the dark ages. Can anyone else see that the only thing to have advanced in these statements is science and technology? Are 21st century catholics really, still, this gullible and easily patronised?

    • In reply to #10 by RDfan:

      New schemes for old scams. That’s all.

      Business is business – and business as usual. – If it has raked in money and assets for centuries, why change a successful business plan? In Catholic dominated countries and cultures, there is probably more than one born every minute!

  4. I’ve lived in Rome for 12 years now and it still baffles me how so many perfectly intelligent and rational people can be so superstitious …. not just about Catholicism, but also a raft of other rubbish, like tarot and palms and star signs.

    But then after a couple of years I discovered an Italian adage to explain this. When challenged people will say “Non è vero, ma ci credo” – its not true, but I believe it. This pretty much sums up the situation in a land where the culture/identity of the people is so entwined with religion. They know its not true but they still go along with it.

    How we break that cycle remains a mystery.

    • In reply to #15 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

      Oops,wait a bit. Need to pick my jaw off the floor.Seriously,in this day and age? People will buy INDULGENCES?!

      Not buy indulgences, but perform certain tasks for them or be rewarded with them for having done certain tasks. What I dislike about all this (apart from its being sheer superstition) is that it encourages people to think of spirituality as though it were a kind of economy in which one can save up merit points. It trains people to be meanminded, as they count the number of rosaries and novenas they have said and how many hours they have spent watching the World Youth Day, and now they will be counting their holy tweets too! This sort of thing may be a good way to encourage children to perform their duties and learn their lessons at school, but it hardly suits adults.

    • In reply to #15 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

      Oops,wait a bit. Need to pick my jaw off the floor.Seriously,in this day and age? People will buy INDULGENCES?!

      They will if they get discounts or fly buys points.

  5. I thought they’d dropped the whole idea of purgatory from their mythology. But if you just make things up as you go, I suppose it makes it very difficult to keep track of the lies you’re telling.

    It certainly makes it impossible to present a coherent story

  6. It’s actually not new; the previous Pope (Benedict XVI) did the same and granted “Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will be valid from the opening of the Year on 11 October 2012 until its end on 24 November 2013.(…) imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful” (http://www.news.va/en/news/plenary-indulgence-for-the-year-of-faith). So I don’t know if this is a new thing or if they’re just renewing the pope’s license to bullshit for another year (and I’m sure Catholics probably think that the Mormon practice of converting the dead is crazy).

  7. Thanks,got myself a bit mixed up there !In reply to #18 by Cairsley:

    In reply to #15 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

    Oops,wait a bit. Need to pick my jaw off the floor.Seriously,in this day and age? People will buy INDULGENCES?!

    Not buy indulgences, but perform certain tasks for them or be rewarded with them for having done certain tasks. What I dislike about all…

    • In reply to #22 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

      Thanks,got myself a bit mixed up there !

      Not really, Christiana. You were recalling that the selling and buying of indulgences was actually practised in the late Middle Ages, and it was this practice that spurred Martin Luther to launch a protest. Since then the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church has, to its unremarkable credit, learnt that selling spiritual favors for money lends it to being compared all too easily to the Whore of Babylon.

  8. It’s just the catholic version of an entrenched and meaningless meme. Secular versions of this knee jerk response are flag waving and national anthems while the hand is held across the heart. It’s a cultural thing, a money-making scam. Fools and their money are soon parted and proof that ignorance is indeed bliss.

  9. Seriously! Is there a sliding scale? Maybe a couple of Hail Marys’ up to full flagellation. How about a ‘specials’ selection – last seasons indulgences reduced to clear or a multi buy option if the whole family has been less than pious.

    If I was a evolution denier I would use this as a prime example to support my case. Surely Mother Nature would have found a way of cleansing this nonsense from the gene pool by now, it’s had a couple of thousand years to deal with it.

  10. Gabriel stood up from the table,now harpless, wingless,and with a heavy head,said “that’s enough for me”.
    Only three remained at the table now,Jaysus,the pope and ole snake eyes himself.
    The crucifi were high and the celestial deck could never be cheated with,by design of course.
    “I’ll raise you a barefoot trek up Croke Patrick,a child abuse scandal,and a Magdalene laundry”said Francis.
    Jaysus,as always,looked confident,and matched the bet as usual,with a re-animation,and an apparition from his mother.
    Says Lucifer,with an impressive looking sinister sneer,”I’ll also match that,and raise it with half the souls of the damned,and even throw in Hitler and my trident.
    Francis,wanting to make an impression on his new counterparts,says,”no problem,I’ll also match that,and raise you again.All in,including the tweets from world youth day”.
    The other two glanced at each other,and in near perfect stereo said”Fuck that,,,I fold!”

  11. “the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media”

    Hang on, marriage is between a man and a woman. This is an abomination and must be stopped. It is a sin in the eyes of Dog!

  12. “”What really counts is that the tweets the Pope sends from Brazil or the photos of the Catholic World Youth Day that go up on Pinterest produce authentic spiritual fruit in the hearts of everyone,” said Celli.”

    …………………except the rape victims who will just feel sick ……

  13. It takes one heck of a lot of nerve to sell indulgences from someone you have never seen, talked to or even had evidence existed.

    It is a bit like me selling tickets to Brad and Angelina’s anniversary party.

    • In reply to #29 by Roedy:

      It takes one heck of a lot of nerve to sell indulgences from someone you have never seen, talked to or even had evidence existed.

      It is a bit like me selling tickets to Brad and Angelina’s anniversary party.

      Exactly!! Even if you DO believe in god, heaven, hell and purgatory, how do you go from there to believing that the pope is the one to decide where you will go after you die and for how long??? Isn’t that supposed to be god’s decision? Since when does the boss take orders from his “minions” ?

      Oh yeah, I forgot.. Sorry. Old Frankie here has a direct line to the boss. Of course, sort of like Commissioner Gordon’s red phone to the batcave.

  14. I just wonder if this method gets you through the Pearly Gates quicker than flying a jet airliner full of people and fuel into a skyscraper full of people? Can St Peter be bribed like this ?

  15. How much time does each tweet knock off your sentence? I’d like to know specifics rules on this one.

    It seems to imply that your reduced time in purgatory is tied directly to how many tweets the pope makes. If he doesn’t tweet there will be nothing to indulge? Hmmm.

    Ya know, now that I think about it…. this could just be a way of getting more twitter followers. :)

  16. HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAHHHH-HAR-DE-HAR!!!! Laugh!?! – thought I’d die! There has got to be a troll inside the Vatican recommending these stupid ideas, trying to bring it down from the inside. Are they TRYING to lose western-culture Catholics altogether? And how many ‘twitter-followers’ are there in poverty nations where electricity is a luxury and the RCC has a stronghold? What a bunch of idiots.

    • In reply to #34 by ShesTheBeth:

      HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAHHHH-HAR-DE-HAR!!!! Laugh!?! – thought I’d die! There has got to be a troll inside the Vatican recommending these stupid ideas, trying to bring it down from the inside. Are they TRYING to lose western-culture Catholics altogether? And how many ‘twitter-followers’ are there in…

      ….The troll in question wears this ridiculous hat that helps him come up with these incredibly brilliant ideas, when they’re not ‘training’ the alter boys or doing the vatican brothel. Even as a brainwashed child and believing in god, I didn’t get the catholics and their dog-ma. I had several friends that played their parents religion game, and occasionally went to church with them purely for the entertainment of it all, not to mention the eye candy. Incredible!!!

  17. God said he was fine with that and would keep a record of twitter followers. No purgatory compensation is expected for people without internet access who will have to continue paying for any purgatory favours (US currency is still preferred).

    • In reply to #41 by SoundGuyLuke:

      What do you get if you friend him on Facebook?

      a news feed full of passive-agressive vagubook updates about “someone” who’s begging for an excommunication if they’re not careful (don’t comment on them, you’ll get sucked in), reposts of heartwarming yet extremely unlikely stories, with instructions to repost if you’re against anything that isn’t nice, pictures of his dinner of fish and loaves (bet i can get 5000 shares in one day… was funny first time) and a shed-load of mafia wars requests

  18. I’ve always thought that spending some time in purgatory waiting for one’s sins being forgiven and forgotten was a waste of time, so I’m happy to read that the new pope is getting rid of unnecesary red tape, and we can walk into paradise without any further delay. However, I’m neither a tweeter nor a facebooker ( or whatever you call these people). I haven’t joined these webs ’cause I’ve got the funny feeling that my privacy is at stake; so, wouldn’t be OK if I followed Pope Francis without the need of a computer? What about poor people not connected to new technologies? Will they also have the chance to get their “indulgences” ? If I can’t get an “indulgence” like a coffe from a vending machine, what do I have to do?Too many questions in the air and no answers at all. In the end, I’ll choose the Muslim paradise to spend the rest of eternity; I’ve heard you have access to 72 virgins you don’t have to share with anyone, and you don’t need any computers ( the Taliban banned them). So, Allah hu akbar, babies.

  19. In eighth grade history, we learned about history with the church and indulgences. My teacher basically mocked the idea and I think our entire class thought it was ridiculous.

    Some loud whacky people will catch your attention, but I think most Catholics in the US are fairly Cafeteria type Catholics, they don’t really listen to the Pope, they just go to Church, like the community feel, go through some of the motions and that’s about it.

  20. When I was at catholic school I was informed that Pugatory was a division of Hell.
    When I asked whether God and Satan had some lease agreement ;there was lots of laughter from the rest of the class ,but non from the teacher.
    The indulgence salesmanship was what propelled Martin Luther.

    • As opposed to the unfathomabe ignorance, stupidity and breathtaking arrogance of offering such a service ? In reply to #55 by Acrane:

      The comments only go to to show the unfathomable ignorance – and in most cases stupidity – of those posting them.

    • In reply to #59 by Ignorant Amos:

      I read about this nonsense recently….

      (

      Hi IA — I thought you might be amused to know that Epeeist got banned from your favourite website so the atheists all bailed as one. It’s gone rather quiet!

      Michael

  21. Its one of the greatest scams ever, the catholic church has amassed billions in property,donations in Ireland alone, people to this day are still willing their homes,life savings etc to the church, lt begs belief.

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