The Vatican announced Monday that Pope Benedict XVI has joined Twitter and has chosen the handle @pontifex to use when he begins tweeting December 12. So, I jumped online and became a follower!
Greg Burke, a media advisor to the Vatican, told Reuters the name pontifex means both “pope” and “bridge builder.” Burke said that though the Pope will actually send out the very first tweet on the 12th himself, future tweets will come from Vatican aides after the Pope signs off on them.
Papal tweets will be going out simultaneously in Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French with more languages to be added in the future, Reuters reported.
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli explained what we could expect the Pope to tweet about:
Reducing the pope’s message to 140 characters is definitely a challenge but we have seen that a profound thought can also be expressed in a brief Biblical passage. We can see this as sparks of truth or pellets of wisdom.
I am thrilled to see the Vatican moving into this modern era and recognizing the need to utilize social media to spread their message to, and communicate with, millions of people, especially young people.
If you plan to follow the Pope on Twitter, he won’t follow you back. He won’t be following anyone actually, according to the article. However, you can send him questions to #askpontifex and he may just answer you next Wednesday!
Read more from Reuters.