Pope to offer Indulgences to his Twitter followers
July 19, 2013 1:44 PM   Subscribe

What the Pope Really Meant in His Twitter-Indulgences Announcement

According to a new Vatican decree, issued last month but reported just about everywhere this week, Pope Francis will be granting indulgences -- or time off terms in purgatory -- to Catholics who closely follow his Twitter or other social media accounts during the World Youth Day event in Rio de Janeiro next week.


For those of us that may be needing an Indulgence (or seven), the Pope's Twitter feed can be found here.
posted by Shouraku (68 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, the article is titled, "What the Pope Really Meant in His Twitter-Indulgences Announcement" and should really be titled, "What did the Pope Really Mean by His Twitter-Indulgences Announcement?" because it doesn't answer the question at all. It barely even attempts to speculate.
posted by zarq at 1:49 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like him on Facebook and you get a free beatification. Doubting Thomases should just go ahead and poke him.
posted by yoink at 1:51 PM on July 19, 2013 [29 favorites]


Sorry Padre, but the only get out of purgatory free card I know of involves a vampire and a profound bond.

(wait, wasn't the mass granting of indulgences one of the things that kicked off the Reformation?)
posted by The Whelk at 1:51 PM on July 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh man, I can't wait for five years from now when we find out that local priests are irate because of hordes of new confessors coming in brandishing Groupons saying that they can take 5 Hail Marys off of their prescribed penitence.
posted by kagredon at 1:51 PM on July 19, 2013 [37 favorites]


Zarq: Yes, I agree that the title of the article is pretty poor, but sadly it's the best article that I could find about this. Hopefully someone else knows of a better one.
posted by Shouraku at 1:51 PM on July 19, 2013


I can't imagine why I have trouble taking the Catholic Church seriously.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


Isn't the pope just retweeting god?
posted by srboisvert at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2013 [20 favorites]


Tthe practice of buying and selling indulgences has been illegal since the 1562 Council of Trent, but the granting of them has been continued by the Vatican.

This is like the Craigslist version of religion, except you get the notion of salvation rather than swallowing semen for some awesome Usher tickets.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


A good explanation on the matter by James Martin, SJ (and Colbert Report chaplain).
posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Something something Luther Pinning his 95 Theses, something something.
posted by emjaybee at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Oh damn CrazyLemonade. Thanks for the bail out! (Also, do I need and Indulgence for saying damn? I'm going to need so very many twitter clicks)
posted by Shouraku at 1:56 PM on July 19, 2013


Something something Luther Pinning his 95 Theses, something something.

It was the LOLlards that started it all.
posted by yoink at 1:57 PM on July 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Are all his tweets infallible?

I assume this would fall under the doctrine of Petweene Supremacy.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:58 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


No problem, Shouraku, I have James Martin on my Twitter feed, and he's been posting that article a few times since all this "tweet the Pope and get indulgences" thing came out.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:58 PM on July 19, 2013


Isn't the pope just retweeting god?

#rockonpeter
posted by yoink at 1:58 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I assume it would fall under Petweene Supremacy.

Oh, god damn it. Ow. Ow. Ugh. Ow.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I hope Sergio Cabral is following closely otherwise that bastard is going to burn.
posted by adamvasco at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2013


Next, the gamification of Salvation.

(Actually, we kind of have that already.)
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:01 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


OK, I'm not a Catholic, and the concept of an "indulgence" is odd to me. But I find the idea of recognizing as equal participants people who participate in an event virtually rather than in the flesh lovely, really.
posted by DrMew at 2:03 PM on July 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


I can't imagine why I have trouble taking the Catholic Church seriously.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:52 PM on July 19


Eponyheretical?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 2:04 PM on July 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


(Actually, we kind of have that already.)

Not if you believe in predestination.
posted by yoink at 2:04 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I RTed all his stuff and liked the 4 panels he posted to facebook, even though I kinda cringe when he calls his ford focus his "whip" and labels all his selfies "swag".

Kinda cool when he tweeted #fuckwitmeunoigotit though.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:06 PM on July 19, 2013


I don't mean this as a criticism, just a statement: I am continually fascinated by how transactional Catholicism can be.
posted by Think_Long at 2:08 PM on July 19, 2013


I think this may be the cutest pope yet...
posted by ipsative at 2:09 PM on July 19, 2013


Kinda cool when he tweeted #fuckwitmeunoigotit though.

"Gasp! A hater!"
posted by kagredon at 2:10 PM on July 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Think_Long: “I don't mean this as a criticism, just a statement: I am continually fascinated by how transactional Catholicism can be.”

The thing is that it isn't really that transactional. It tries to be practical – it tries to help people know what will help them progress and deepen their faith – but it is not about transactions and rewards. The entire reporting of this whole Twitter kerfuffle has come from a position of utter ignorance, even of the medieval practices in the Church.
posted by koeselitz at 2:11 PM on July 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


The entire reporting of this whole Twitter kerfuffle has come from a position of utter ignorance, even of the medieval practices in the Church.

That I can definitely believe. My impression comes from a distinctly outsider's perspective.
posted by Think_Long at 2:14 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The entire reporting of this whole Twitter kerfuffle has come from a position of utter ignorance, even of the medieval practices in the Church.

And is happily being perpetuated by the usual willfully-ignorant LOLCATHOLICS faithful in here and in other fora...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:15 PM on July 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Is this offered with the drive through baptismal? Can I get free super saver shipping on my "One True Piece of the Cross"? Can I can get a transubstantiation on my no whip soy extra foam double shot caramellachiato?

Really this just raises more questions than it answers.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 2:16 PM on July 19, 2013


"Pope says that, if you can't make it to a religious gathering, it will do you just as much spiritual good if you follow along remotely" doesn't make very exciting headlines.
posted by edheil at 2:17 PM on July 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


I got 95 theses and these tweets are some
posted by rtha at 2:18 PM on July 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


Right, it isn't a transaction. Just like you aren't paying for forgiveness when you say 4 our fathers, it is a symbolic act that shows you are earnest.

I'm teasing the guy that he bumps Rick Ross in his Ford Focus. I like him and I'm actually catholic.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:19 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


And is happily being perpetuated by the usual willfully-ignorant LOLCATHOLICS faithful in here and in other fora...

I suspect you're misreading the spirit of the vast majority of the comments in this thread.
posted by yoink at 2:24 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't remember the last time I read an article about the Catholic Church where I didn't have to stop and wonder if it was an Onion-style parody.
posted by andoatnp at 2:28 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine why I have trouble taking the Catholic Church seriously.

I can't remember the last time I read an article about the Catholic Church where I didn't have to stop and wonder if it was an Onion-style parody.

Change "Catholic Church" to Islam, Hinduism, etc, and see what the reaction from Mefites would be. Ignorance can be cured.
posted by Mojojojo at 2:34 PM on July 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I suspect you're misreading the spirit of the vast majority of the comments in this thread.

Really? This thread is at least 3/5ths obnoxious (and ignorant) favorite-trolling. (I'm not Catholic).
posted by junco at 2:42 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


When you the pontiff's Twitter ping, a soul from purgatory springs.
posted by brina at 2:43 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Pope says that, if you can't make it to a religious gathering, it will do you just as much spiritual good if you follow along remotely" doesn't make very exciting headlines.

Yeah it's pretty ironic how the internet is falling all over itself to make fun of the Vatican for saying it's ok to participate in one of their activities via the internet.
posted by straight at 2:43 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


That is, it’s not enough simply to follow the pope on Twitter. It’s not even enough to check his Twitter feed frequently. You need to be (a) contrite, (b) trying to follow the events at World Youth Day live and (c) performing these acts with “due devotion.”

Oh well, then it's not ridiculous at all.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:43 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Vatican’s original document offered an indulgence for those who complete a pilgrimage. That’s fairly common. A few years ago, when I made a pilgrimage to the French shrine of Lourdes, one could work towards an indulgence by visiting certain holy sites and praying there.

This sounds like the accomplishments I used to do in World of Warcraft.
posted by pibeandres at 2:45 PM on July 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


Not if you believe in predestination.

True, although, in that case, you have a slightly greater problem with the Pope than indulgence-by-tweet.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:46 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Really? This thread is at least 3/5ths obnoxious (and ignorant) favorite-trolling. (I'm not Catholic).

It may well be favorite trolling, but not on the basis of any animus against Catholics. So far as I can see the vast majority of participants are just having fun with the "worlds collide" notion of the Pope being on twitter.
posted by yoink at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


True, although, in that case, you have a slightly greater problem with the Pope than indulgence-by-tweet.

There's probably an interesting piece to be written about salvation by faith vs. salvation by works in the light of gamification theory. Of course there are probably about a zillion really crappy pieces to be written on the subject, too.
posted by yoink at 2:50 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn now I feel bad.

My joke was much funnier if you know that the song I was referencing is about Rick Ross and Jay Z going to Rome.

I will take this very seriously from now on I promise.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:58 PM on July 19, 2013


Well I have an animus against catholics thinks this is a dumb idea and was being intentionally snarky.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 2:59 PM on July 19, 2013


Well I have an animus against catholics thinks this is a dumb idea and was being intentionally snarky.

Yes, well, there are always a few ants at the picnic.
posted by yoink at 3:00 PM on July 19, 2013


Oh well, then it's not ridiculous at all.

Well it's not LOL viral headline fodder, at least.
posted by gubo at 3:00 PM on July 19, 2013


It's a fish Friday post. So much better than a diet of worms.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:01 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, Varican II? Crazy huh?
posted by Ad hominem at 3:18 PM on July 19, 2013


[We are not doing the "all religion is dumb" thing here. Thank you. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:20 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


yoink: “There's probably an interesting piece to be written about salvation by faith vs. salvation by works in the light of gamification theory. Of course there are probably about a zillion really crappy pieces to be written on the subject, too.”

As far as gamification theory goes, I tend to believe less in predestination and more in prestidigitation.
posted by koeselitz at 3:25 PM on July 19, 2013


So, Vatican II Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum? Crazy Delirus, huh?

correxi pro vobis
posted by kagredon at 3:30 PM on July 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


First you get down on your knees
Fiddle with your twitter feed
Bow your head with great respect and
Google Plus, Google Plus, Google Plus

Make a cross above your spleen's zone
When online do like the teens' own
Ave Maria, Gee it's good to tweet ya
Doin' the Vatican's Blog!

(with apologies to Tom Lehrer)
posted by yoink at 3:34 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


this is a country where the poor don´t have 3G telephones and don´t give a fuck about twitter as they would prefer a roof and a meal

I would be very careful about assuming what poor people, especially in countries other than your own do and don't "give a fuck about."
posted by kagredon at 3:47 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I get that the real story is much less sensational than this headline as per CrazyLemonade, but this is still awesome in its "real-news-or-Onion?" uncanny valley:
"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 Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:53 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Something something Luther Pinning his 95 Theses, something something.

He pinned each on a separate sheet of paper to increase ad revenue.
posted by condour75 at 3:58 PM on July 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


It may well be favorite trolling, but not on the basis of any animus against Catholics. So far as I can see the vast majority of participants are just having fun with the "worlds collide" notion of the Pope being on twitter.

Okay. I didn't read it that way, but I might just be cranky because of the heat.

posted by junco at 4:16 PM on July 19, 2013


This shouldn't be a surprise. The church has always been an early adopter of new technology. Look at their groundbreaking work with the rack, the wheel and the iron maiden.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:25 PM on July 19, 2013


You know what?

As a recovering Catholic, I think this is probably great. YMMV, of course, but there it is.

(Whatever, I'm half-drunk and lost my job and my spouse in the same week, so idk. I'm usually way too shy to comment on anything ever. But I really like the new guy.)
posted by dogheart at 5:04 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe I should go sign up for one just in case I have a near occasion of sin.

(Well, one can always hope.)
posted by Soliloquy at 7:02 PM on July 19, 2013


I just blocked him on Twitter. I assume that means I'm going straight to hell.
posted by mike3k at 11:11 PM on July 19, 2013


I could use some indulgence.
posted by telstar at 3:41 AM on July 20, 2013


Does he follow back? If so, this will be a net loss for me.
posted by Legomancer at 6:29 AM on July 20, 2013


(wait, wasn't the mass granting of indulgences one of the things that kicked off the Reformation?)

The sale of indulgences IIRC.
posted by ersatz at 9:10 AM on July 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


kagredon
I can see the favela of Santa Marta from where I live in Botafogo. It has been mainly pacified and as favelas go is quite well off.
By poor I mean these kids and the others below minimum wage of US$331 a month including these 2.5 million people.
posted by adamvasco at 10:47 AM on July 20, 2013


yeah, I got confused about who I was replying to and by the time I realized, I'd missed the edit window for the "not your country" (plus it seemed maybe not-in-bounds to edit out what was essentially me being stupid.) Sorry about that.
posted by kagredon at 10:55 AM on July 20, 2013


No worries.
Penetration of 3G mobiles and social online connectivity is high in urban Brazil ie Rio;
What I was pointing out by the comment now gone is that the segment of society which is still stuggling for a daily meal or a roof over their head let alone access to medical aid doesn´t give a monkey´s fart about the inane twitter comments from this religious leader. Twitter is for the priviliged in that at this level of poverty to have a mobile phone is to be priviliged.
The visit by Papa Francis to Rio is costing a fortune, for instance there are 30,000 extra police drafted in plus helicopters plus plus plus. All this is a city which has severe problems of corruption, health care, poor infrasture while spending billions on Macro projects.
Put in this light pope / twitter / indulgence is woo at its most extreme and yes we should point and laugh at the ridicule it is.
To misquote 'Let them eat twitter'.
posted by adamvasco at 11:32 AM on July 20, 2013


What, no Dogma references in this thread yet?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:00 PM on July 20, 2013


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