Pope tweets greetings for World Youth Day

Associated Press
In this photo taken on Saturday, June 25, 2011 Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli shows to journalists the new portal, www.news.va, during a press conference at the Vatican. The Vatican is offering indulgences for "virtual" participants of the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, but there's a hitch. The Vatican's social media guru, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, warned Friday that merely checking the pope's Twitter feed won't result in an indulgence, the ancient church tradition related to forgiving sins that roughly amounts to a "get out of Purgatory free" card. Rather, Celli told The Associated Press, a Catholic seeking an indulgence for participating in Rio, either physically or virtually, must truly be contrite and have a moment of deepening faith. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is reaching out over social media to young followers gearing up for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

Francis posted a message on Twitter Saturday touching base with young Catholics en route to Rio and wishing them a safe journey.

Francis leaves Monday for Rio, where more than a million young Catholics are expected to celebrate their new pope.

The 76-year-old Argentine became the church's first pontiff from the Americas in March, and the trip to Brazil is his first international journey since becoming pontiff.

Catholic youth festivals are meant to reinvigorate the faithful, and Francis is expected to inspire young people with his humble ways.

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