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Commentary » International

How the media misread the pope's indulgence offer

Nearly 200 news sites reported it, nearly all got it wrong

How the media misread the pope's indulgence offer

Picture: CNN

Fr James Martin for CNN Belief Blog International

July 18, 2013

Here were the tantalizingly weird headlines: “Follow pope online, get to heaven sooner - Facebook likes don't count.” “Cut your time in purgatory by following pope on Twitter.” And, worst of all, from Slate: “Pope now offering indulgences in exchange for Twitter followers.”

Similar headlines popped up on more than 190 news sources on Wednesday.

Ha ha. Is the Catholic Church offering time off in hell– or purgatory, depending on the website - just for checking your Twitter feed every few hours? Is the church really that dumb? And here I thought Pope Francis was cool, or as Esquire recently termed him, “awesome.”

This is (another) case of how the media misunderstands and misreports a story from “The Vatican.”

Here’s how it seemed to have happened….

Full Story: Sorry, retweeting the pope won't get you out of hell

Source: CNN Belief Blog

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