catholic church

All Tweets Go to Heaven

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Hoping for a fast track to heaven; log on to Twitter.

The Vatican has announced that following Pope Francis on Twitter will earn you indulgences. Catholics believe indulgences reduce the amount of time you have to spend in purgatory. The more indulgences you have the faster you get to the pearly gates.

The church says it used to give them out for things such as climbing the sacred steps in Rome. In the middle ages some churchmen sold them off for large sums of money. Now the Vatican says it's time to dive into the 21st century.

The idea to link heaven and Twitter came from Catholic World Youth Day being held in Rio de Janeiro. The church realized that not everyone can hop a plane and head to Brazil but they can stay connected to everything spiritual thanks to the internet.  read more »

A Blessed Business

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The Catholic Church has a new leader and papal fever is spreading.

Less than 48 hours after appearing on the balcony of Saint Peter’s the smiling face of Pope Francis was all over Vatican City. Fans wanting a piece of the new pope wasted no time sweeping up pendants, posters and buttons featuring his picture. And vendors are struggling to keep up.

They say $9 rosary beads with a picture of the pope and $0.50 postcards are the most popular items. And sales continued to climb when the pope was officially installed earlier this week. Now vendors all over Vatican City are doubling their orders to meet tourist demand.  read more »

Papal Retirement

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Retirement means giving up your job perks; unless your job is running the Catholic Church.

In just a few days the papal office will be vacated and the process to select a new pope will begin. But what does this mean for the man who on March 1st will become the first pope to resign in 600 years?

For example even after presidents leave the oval office they continue to be addressed as president. But for the pope the power stays with the church. Once Pope Benedict resigns his title is up for debate but experts say he will more than likely be addressed as bishop.  read more »

Technology Versus Religion

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Apparently you can be born again; and this time it’s under your terms.

Tom Roes is creator of a Dutch website that helps people de-baptize themselves and leave the Catholic Church.

Roes says since Pope Benedict’s latest statement against gay marriage, visits to his site have increased from ten a day to more than 10,000. He says more Catholics are looking for a way to distance themselves from the church to protest its opposition to same sex marriage. And since it’s not possible to actually be de-baptized since it’s a physical event, Roes helps people find and download the documents needed to de-register themselves as Catholics.  read more »

The Pope Goes Viral

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The head of the Catholic Church will soon be spreading the Holy Spirit; in 140 characters or less.

According to Vatican officials by the end of the year Pope Benedict the XVI will have his very own Twitter channel. An unusual move for a man they say hates computers and still writes his speeches by hand.

Most of his tweets will come from the contents of his weekly general audience, Sunday blessings and sermons on major church holidays. The rest will be the Pope’s reaction to world events such as natural disasters.

The only catch is that his Holiness will not be writing the tweets himself but he will be reading them and signing off on them before they are sent out to the twitter-verse.  read more »

Sweating Off Your Sins

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A confessional might make you sweat but one church was trying to make theirs into a full time sauna.

A Catholic church in Vienna is undergoing renovations and to make a little extra cash the church’s confessional was offered up on Ebay. The confessional is designed for people to confess their sins to a priest and then be absolved. But this church had other ideas for the small room that included converting it into a sauna. And if that didn’t work the backup plan was a small bar or a children’s playhouse.  read more »

Power From Above

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On the first day God created light. Now one church community is using that light to full advantage.

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is harnessing the power of the sun in an effort to “go green.” Thanks to a partnership by PG&E and Solar City, Grace Cathedral now has 30 solar panels powering the church. PG&E fronted the $65,000 cost and Solar City provided the materials. Heidi Zuhl, spokesperson for Grace Cathedral says they’re excited about going solar in a city known for its fog.  read more »