In an effort to keep up with the times, the Vatican has decided to offer "indulgences" to followers of Pope Francis on the social networking site Twitter.
Remissions earned a bad reputation during the Middle Ages as churchmen granted them in exchange for large sums of money. Granting "indulgences" based on the amount of time Catholics have spent in absolving their sins is a long-standing Catholic tradition, but it usually involves activities such as climbing the Sacred Steps in Rome; this act absolves the sinners seven years off purgatory.
Apparently, following Pope Francis' Twitter account, which has over seven million followers, is also a way to earn a remission. However, the tweets must be followed live and not just intermittently. A senior Vatican member cautioned that faith was still as important as before for indulgences, and just a few mouse clicks or taps on your smartphones won't grant you paradise.
The penitentiary decreed that granting of an indulgence would also depend on how devoted the beneficiaries are and whether they've confessed previously. The papal also suggested praying with unquestionable devotion while following the events online.
The Vatican plans to launch a Facebook page, an online news portal with a supported app and has also plans to have its presence on social content sharing site Pinterest. Archbishop Celli said that the main aim of Vatican is to grow a feeling of "authentic spiritual fruit" in everyone's hearts.