(CBS News) The Vatican is taking a modern approach to one of its oldest traditions, by offering indulgences to Twitter followers of the Pontifex’s social media account.

Aware that some Catholics may not be able afford to travel to Brazil, where World Youth Day is being held from July 23-28, and perhaps also in an effort to modernize himself, Pope Francis is making this first-time offer to the faithful who follow the events in Rio de Janeiro online.

Under Catholic belief, after confessing and being absolved of sin, the indulgences granted reduce the amount of time one spends in purgatory, where one’s sins are weighed after death.

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