The Pope Joins Twitter

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Just when you thought everyone on this planet was already consumed with social media site, Twitter, it looks as though the site as gained yet another influential, yet unlikely follower in Pope Benedict XVI.

The Vatican announced today that the 85-year old had started a personal account under the handle @pontifex, a latin term that translates to bridge-builder. Just hours after activating the account, the Pope already had well over 100,000 followers.

While the account was started today, the Pope isn’t expected to send his first tweet until next week on December 12th, as he makes a response to questions regarding faith and religion. Twitter users can begin sending in their questions to the Pope using the hashtag #askpontifex.

With 1.2 billion followers, the church has made this move to help draw in their younger audience. “The pope’s presence on Twitter can be seen as the ‘tip of the iceberg’ that is the church’s presence in the world of new media,” the Vatican said in a statement.

This Twitter account is strictly business though. Chances are we won’t be seeing what the Pope ate for lunch, or what he thought about last night’s episode of “The Walking Dead.” The Pope certainly won’t be following you either: “He won’t follow anyone for now,” Mr. Burke added. “He will be followed.”

“Benedict’s posts will go out in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. Other languages are expected to be added in the future. The messages will mostly feature the contents of the pope’s speeches at his weekly general audience and Sunday blessings, as well as homilies on major holidays and reaction to major world events, like natural disasters.”

“The pope is not the kind of person like the rest of us who in a meeting or a lunch is looking at their BlackBerrys to see if any messages have come in,” Mr. Burke said. “He is not walking around with an iPad, but all the pope’s tweets are the pope’s words.”

 Image Credit: Reuters 



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