- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Catholics in need of forgiveness don’t have to leave the comforts of their home to take part in this month’s World Youth Day event in Rio de Janeiro. That’s because Pope Francis is offering an easier means of absolution — Twitter.

Those who travel to the city for the five-day event will be granted plenary indulgences, the Daily Mail reported. But for the first time, the pope will also extend the same forgiveness to those who watch the even unfold on television, radio or online. Plenary indulgences grant recipients full pardon of temporal punishments — those to be imposed in this life or in the afterlife — for those sins that have already been confessed and forgiven, the Daily Mail said.

Catholic Church doctrine teaches that indulgences can reduce purgatory sentences.

But those desiring to partake of the blessing don’t have to be in the pope’s presence this month. They only have to join in the pope’s prayer for young Catholics at World Youth Day, said Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, in the Daily Mail.

Catholic News Agency puts it this way: Those wishing plenary indulgences must participate in the service “under the usual spiritual, sacramental and prayer conditions, in a spirit of filial submission to the Roman pontiff,” and “in the sacred functions on the days indicated, following the same rites and spiritual exercises as they occur via television or radio or, with due devotion, via the new means of social communication.”

About two million faithful are expected to turn out to Rio for the event, which runs July 23 to July 28.


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