Pope OKs indulgences for the Tweeting classes

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Associated Press

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 8:05 AM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is offering indulgences for "virtual" participants of the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro — but there's a hitch.

The Vatican's social media guru, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, warned Friday that merely checking the pope's Twitter feed won't result in an indulgence, the ancient church tradition related to forgiving sins that roughly amounts to a "get out of Purgatory free" card.

Rather, Celli told The Associated Press, a Catholic seeking an indulgence for participating in Rio — either physically or virtually— must truly be contrite and have a moment of deepening faith.

According to church teaching, Catholics who confess their sins are forgiven of the eternal, or spiritual punishment of damnation. An indulgence is designed to remove the "temporal" punishment of sin that may remain.

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