The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has followed the lead of Pope Francis in offering indulgences for those who follow him on Twitter. There was widespread head-scratching earlier in the week at the announcement by the Vatican that the Papal court handling pardons for sins had ruled that contrite Catholics could gain ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter.
The Anglican model is slightly different, as the doctrine of Purgatory and Indulgences are among those doctrines which the Church of England has discarded since its break from Rome. However, Archbishop Welby, sensing an opportunity for an easy win to please his home crowd, has ruled that PCC members who follow @ABCJustin or @LambethPalace on Twitter will be able to download a voucher allowing them to leave PCC meetings after the first 90 minutes, even if they are the vicar.
A spokesperson for the Church of England said, “Like the Orthodox Church, we do not have a doctrine of Purgatory in the Church of England. Our official line is that this Roman idea ‘is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God’. However, the Pope’s concept of Twitter-bribes to get his follower count up looked good to us. Who among the Anglican flock has not been trapped in an epic PCC meeting where having what amounts to a ‘Go home or to the pub’ card from the Archbishop of Canterbury would not have been a blessed relief from torment?.”
On Friday our very own Robb started a hashtag game encouraging people to think of #churchofenglandfilms. The contributions came in thick and fast and continued until late Saturday and at lunch time on Friday it trended in the UK on twitter (this is very exciting if you are a twitter geek like us!) We were delighted that lots of people said the game had made their night and had been the most entertaining thing they’d seen on twitter for a long while.
This is really part of what we’re trying to do with this website – raise a smile for the institution we love:
Just in case you missed just how fun this was, here is a selection of some of the best tweets. A special mention should be made for @jamesOMcraig who had to be the most prolific producer of these puns (we’ve only shared a fraction of them here!):
Feel free to add more by twitter or in the comments on this post or on our facebook page.
The Crown Nominations Commission refused to comment on rumours that Pope Benedict is the surprise front runner to become the next Bishop of Durham. The CNC is due to discuss the appointment in May and June this year and already Paddy Power have cut the odds of Ratzinger being parachuted into this senior episcopal position in the Church of England from 5000/1 to 33/1 following a spate of high value online bets apparently originating in the Vatican.
Pope Emeritus Benedict was the first Tweeting Pontiff and it is believed he wishes to take over the popular @bishopofdurham Twitter account recently vacated by Justin Welby’s appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury. A source close to the ex-Pontiff commented, “It’s true that His Holiness has expressed his admiration for the @bishopofdurham Twitter account in the past. And, having been a multilingual Tweeter as @Pontifex he is likely to develop Welby’s online presence by Tweeting in English and simulateously in Geordie via a new @bishopadurm account and in North Yorkshire dialect via @tbishopupyonder “