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Pope Francis offers “reduced time in purgatory” to followers on Twitter

Have you been doing a lot of sinning lately?

Pope Francis has the cure for that.

Possibly sparked by his upcoming visit to Brazil for the World Youth Festival next week, he is revamping the old tradition of “plenary indulgences” — the special act that is said to reduce time in purgatory — by using Twitter to save his global congregation.

Pope Francis, who has only held the prestigious post at the Vatican for four months, plans on offering “indulgences” to followers of his Twitter handle. @Pontifex only has 87 tweets so far in various languages and already has 2,679,596 followers, but by the way, he’s only following 8.

“Historically speaking, there have been different ways people have gotten indulges, by doing a pilgrimage, or basically doing what you are supposed to do as a Christian,” says Alejandro Aguilera, a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who will also be attending the World Youth Festival in Rio.

Aguilera says the Pope is rapidly becoming known for his creativity in attracting more people to the Catholic faith, and this move to incorporate social media at an event which will attract thousands of youth, ages 16 to 25 worldwide, is one of them.

“Those that don’t have the fortune to be there physically can still participate, and this will also count as grace for them,” says Aguilera, also explaining that it might remind Catholic youth what indulgence is in a way they can understand. “The concept of indulgence is one that is not used that often anymore, but it’s interesting that it’s being brought up in a youthful event…Just to be attuned with over a million young people from all over the world and being united to the Pope, to be participant in that, will bring you closer to Christ.”

Oh and by the way, in case you were wondering, Aguilera also says Pope Francis writes his own tweets.

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