Connect to share and comment

Pope Francis offers purgatory pass through Twitter, TV screens

Vatican says there are ways to spend less time in purgatory and more time getting close to God — like Twitter, for example.

20130715_pope_francisEnlarge
Pope Francis blesses the faithful on July 14, 2013 during his first Angelus prayer in front of his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, 40 kms southeast of Rome. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

Those of you who can’t fly to Rio this summer for World Youth Day, but desperately need to trim time from your afterlife's stop in purgatory, rejoice: Pope Francis is offering you the chance to reach God sooner through Twitter.

The Vatican announced this week that “indulgences” — credit for good time served from the Catholic Church — can be earned by watching the proceedings on Twitter, television or through the internet or radio.

Just don’t take any liberties, because God will find you out, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli told the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

Celli leads the pontifical council for social communication. In layman’s terms, he’s the social media director, and he wants everyone to know they can’t skimp on their indulgences.

“You can’t obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine,” Celli told the newspaper, according to the Independent.

We suppose that in Italy, opting for vending-machine espresso is about as big a sacrifice as imaginable.

Still, it's not enough. You have to follow the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day closely online, and with “requisite devotion,” the Guardian reported.

Purgatory, for us heathens, is a sort of limbo.

If you haven’t been an exemplary Catholic with a direct flight to the pearly gates, but you aren’t evil enough to warrant destinations further “south,” then you stop over in purgatory.

Think of it like flying LAX to LaGuardia by connecting through Denver.

According to sketchy memories from conversations with our grandmothers, purgatory is a vast emptiness as far as the eye can see where you’re not suffering, per se, but you’re not in heaven, either.

Catholic.com explains it more elegantly as “purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”

The trouble is, it takes a LONG time to purify, so racking up as many indulgences (completed rituals or sacrifices) as possible to speed up the process is entirely to your benefit.

More from GlobalPost: Pope Francis's online flock nearly doubles on Twitter 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/culture-lifestyle/world-religion/130717/pope-offers-purgatory-pass-through-twitter-tv-